It seems that everyday we are hit with bad news about the environment. One day we find out that the sea ice is shrinking rapidly. The next day the level of air pollution increases so much that it becomes deadly. The kind of news that becomes normality once it’s heard every day. However, there are also days, a few of them, when we find out something good about the world we live in. Like the fact that the dangerous ozone hole over Antarctica is slowly shrinking and healing.
NASA’s Earth-orbiting Aura satellite provided the data which indicated that since 2005 and until 2016, the ozone hole became smaller with about 20%. So, it is possible to do some good things through cooperation? It surely is. According to experts, some 1987 international regulations on chlorofluorocarbons might be what brought this change. Chlorofluorocarbons usually breakdown ozone molecules and can be found in solvents, refrigerants, and many other products.
The ozone hole keeps on shrinking
According to atmospheric scientist Susan Strahan, we may have a solution in our hands, but it’s crucial that every country contributes to these efforts. They all need to abide by the Montreal Protocol which, among other things, bans the production of chlorofluorocarbons. Strahan also explained that this recovery will continue, but at a very slow pace. This is mainly because these molecules have a long life and can continue to exist in the atmosphere for entire decades. So, we might finally see the ozone hole disappear sometime between 2060 and 2080.
Experts also explain that a rise in the ozone levels has beneficial effects for the planet. It blocks the sun’s ultraviolet radiations which can cause serious health issues in humans. The problems vary from eye issues to skin cancers. Solar UV radiation also affects the crops which could seriously affect our food. All in all, collaboration is key if we want to see the ozone hole continue to shrink and potentially save our planet.
Image source: flickr