Ozone Layer Could Recover to Pre-1980 Levels by 2045-2060, Says U.N.


the hole in the ozone layer over Antarctica. Image: NASA, public domain.
But It Will Take Longer for Holes at the Poles
According to a report titled "Scientific Assessment of Ozone Depletion 2010" by U.N. scientists, the ozone layer has finally stopped thinning and could recover to pre-1980 levels by 2045-2060, though the annual springtime ozone hole over Antarctica (pictured above) is not expected to recover until 2073. The Montreal Protocol that banned many ozone-depleting chemicals, signed in 1987, is mostly responsible for the recovery.

"The Montreal Protocol signed in 1987 to control ozone depleting substances is working, it has protected us from further ozone depletion over the past decades," said World Meteorological Organisation head of research Len Barrie. [...]

The 300 scientists who compiled the four yearly ozone assessment now expect that the ozone layer in the stratosphere will be restored to 1980 levels in 2045 to 2060, according to the report, "slightly earlier" than expected. [...]

CFCs are classified among greenhouse gases that cause global warming, so the phase out "provided substantial co-benefits by reducing climate change," the report found. Barrie estimated that it had avoided about 10 gigatonnes of such emissions a year. (source)

However the news aren't 100% positive; the impacts of the South-Pole ozone hole are just starting to be understood, and some scientists think that they could be made worse by global warming.

Via AFP
More on the Ozone Layer
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