Depleted ozone layer "healing", report finds

The banning of CFCs has helped to repair the ozone hole above Antarctica

There is an ongoing healing of the ozone layer, findings of a new UN-backed report released on Monday, have shown.

The measures taken to fix the damage will also have an important beneficial effect on climate change, as some of the gases that caused the ozone layer to thin and in places disappear also contribute to warming the atmosphere.

The ozone layer is one layer of the stratosphere - the mass of protective gases around our planet - and the second layer of the Earth's atmosphere.

Paul Newman of Nasa, joint chairman of...

Now scientists say the ozone layer is making a comeback and will make a full recovery in 42 years.

Ozone in parts of the stratosphere has recovered at a rate of 1-3 percent since 2000 and, 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. NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center's chief earth scientist and co-head of the report said, "This is really good news".

"It shows that the ozone layer is under fix, and highlights areas that must be strengthened for it to be an equally successful platform to phase out HFCs to limit global warming", said Shikha Bhasin, programme lead, Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW).

'If ozone-depleting substances had continued to increase, we would have seen huge effects.

A United Nations study has revealed that the ozone layer is slowly recovering, and is even expected to be fully repaired by the 2060s.

"As a result of the Montreal Protocol much more severe ozone depletion in the polar regions has been avoided", the report said.

However, while most of the banned damaging gases have been phased out, the study found at least one violation - having spotting that production and emission of CFC-11 unexpected increased in eastern Asia since 2012.

The report may send a positive signal to the global community which had joined hands in 1987 to end the use of ozone-depleting substances (CFCs, HCFCs and others) in refrigerators, air conditioners, aerosol cans and other related products by switching over to non-ozone depleting substances as refrigerants.

Montzka said if the source of the new emissions could be identified and contained, the damage to the ozone should be minor.

"The careful mix of authoritative science and collaborative action that has defined the Protocol for more than 30 years and was set to heal our ozone layer is precisely why the Kigali Amendment holds such promise for climate action in future".

Next year, the Protocol is set to be strengthened with the ratification of the Kigali Amendment, which calls for decreasing the future use of powerful climate-warming gases, which also damage the ozone layer.

Mr Newman added: "I don't think we can do a victory lap until 2060, ' he said".

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