Earth's Ozone Layer is Healing, UN-Backed Report Says

Montreal Protocol has prevented severe ozone depletion

Montreal Protocol has prevented severe ozone depletion

The healing signs of ozone layer was revealed on Monday by a new assessment report on Montreal Protocol (MP), the over 30-year-old global treaty which deals with reduction of ozone-depleting substances.

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.

Durwood Zaelke, president of the Institute for Governance and Sustainable Development, said: "Over the last three decades, the Montreal protocol has fulfilled its original objective to heal the ozone layer".

While climate change concerns continue to mount, a new United Nations-backed report delivered a positive environmental update: Earth's ozone layer is finally healing. The 9.6 million square mile hole in the ozone layer above the Antarctic should have sealed itself by 2060.

Paul Newman of Nasa, joint chairman of... The study's findings indicated that the concentration of ozone-depleting substances, such as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), has decreased in the ozone layer since 2014.

Over the southern hemisphere and in the more problematic polar regions, recovery will take longer, until the middle of this century in the former and about 2060 in the latter case.

Scientists at the United Nations believe the depleted ozone will make a full recovery in the northern hemisphere by 2030, and by 2060 for the southern hemisphere.

The researchers put the restrengthening of the ozone layer down to the 1987 Montreal Protocol which was an global treaty that banned chemicals such as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) which were found to be weakening the atmospheric layer. "If ozone-depleting substances had continued to increase, we would have seen huge effects".

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However, while most of the banned gases have been phased out, the report found at least one violation of the protocol: an unexpected increase in production and emissions of CFC-11 from eastern Asia since 2012.

This year, the ozone hole over the South Pole peaked at almost 9.6 million square miles (24.8 million square kilometers).

The source of the increase in production and emissions has not been identified.

Erik Solheim, head of UN Environment, described the Montreal Protocol as "one of the most successful multilateral agreements in history".

Parts of it could even be fully repaired by the 2030s, the report said.

So a healed ozone layer will worsen man-made climate change there a bit, Newman said.

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.

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