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Ozone Layer Beginning To Recover

September 12, 2014
Environmental Protection

The ozone layer is showing its first signs of thickening after years of depletion according to a new report from the United Nations. Scientists believe that the ozone hole that appears annually over Antarctica has stopped increasing and could now begin to get smaller as early as 2025. The size of the hole varies each year due to changes in temperature in the upper atmosphere.

It is anticipated that it will take another 35 years for the ozone layer in mid-latitudes to return to levels seen in the 1980s. Recent changes are seen by researchers as a demonstration of the success of the 1987 Montreal Protocol as World Meteorological Organisation Secretary General Michel Jarraud explained; “International action on the ozone layer is a major environmental success story. This should encourage us to display the same level of urgency and unity to tackle the even greater challenge of tackling climate change,” he said.

The report did sound a note of caution suggesting that ozone depleting carbon tetrachloride was still being released into the atmosphere suggesting there has been illicit production and usage over the past decade. Researchers also believe that progress could be increased by up to 11 years if existing stocks of ozone depleting chemicals many of which are stored in old refrigerators and fire extinguishers were destroyed. 

You can download a copy of the UN Scientific Assessment of Ozone Depletion 2014 here.