Ozone hole gradually closing, United Nations report says

Scientists at NASA said they have located the largest ozone hole ever recorded in a report released

Scientists at NASA said they have located the largest ozone hole ever recorded in a report released

This is due to internationally agreed actions carried out under the historic Montreal Protocol, which came into being over 30 years ago in response to the revelation that chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and other ozone-depleting substances - used in aerosols, cooling and refrigeration systems, and many other items - were tearing a hole in the ozone layer and allowing risky ultraviolet radiation to flood through.

Global warming is on the tip of everyone's tongue these days, and with good reason, but it wasn't long ago that the biggest environmental talking point was the depletion of Earth's ozone layer.

The one-week meeting opened on Monday in the presence of more than 600 delegates, whose main interest is to look for alternatives to reduce ozone depleting substances and prevent global warming.

A fragile shield of gas around the planet, the ozone layer protects animal and plant life from the powerful ultraviolet (UV) rays of the sun. Scientists raised the alarm and ozone-depleting chemicals were phased out worldwide.

The emission of pollution containing chemicals such as chlorine and bromine has caused the ozone layer to deplete.

"At projected rates, Northern Hemisphere and mid-latitude ozone is scheduled to heal completely by the 2030s followed by the Southern Hemisphere in the 2050s and polar regions by 2060".

"These new assessment results highlight the importance of continued long-term monitoring of HFCs in the atmosphere as the Kigali Amendment begins to take hold", said David Fahey, Co-Chair of the Montreal Protocol Scientific Assessment Panel and scientist at the NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory in the US. Newman added that if we hadn't made these changes, two-thirds of the ozone layer would have been destroyed by 2065.

Another problem is that new technology has found an increase in emissions of a banned CFC out of East Asia, the report noted.

Scientists say the Antarctic ozone hole is expected to gradually close, and that the entire ozone layer will return by the 2060s to levels last seen in the 1980s.

The ozone layer is showing signs of continuing recovery from man-made damage and is likely to heal fully by 2060, new evidence shows.

This agreement is now projected to reduce future global average warming in 2100 due to hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) from a baseline of 0.3-0.5-degrees C to less than 0.1-degree C. Cross your fingers all goes as planned.

In the meeting, which will last until this Friday, the results of the four-yearly report carried out by the Scientific Evaluation Panel of the worldwide agreement were presented, which leaves the experts in a mood of optimism and hope.

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