The Ozone layer and its current state have been a topic of heated debate among scientists for the last two decades. This important layer that lies above the earth’s atmosphere is instrumental in protecting us from harmful ultraviolet radiation. However, since the 80s, man-made activities have caused massive depletion of the ozone layer, in some regions by as much as 70%.
The Good News
But the good news is that recent UN findings have confirmed that the ozone layer is finally recovering and is showing early signs of thickening. Even the Ozone Hole (which is a huge gap in the Ozone layer that appears over Antarctica) has stopped expanding. So even if things aren’t quite back to normal, there are some improvements.
One of the biggest positives out of it has been that that steps taken by international governments to protect the Ozone layer seem to be paying off. Many environmentalists and scientists have taken this as a sign that proper laws can control our effects on the ecosystem. Many have lauded the news and have said that we should take more steps to bring the atmosphere back to pre-industrial levels. This should also foster the same level of urgency among nations to tackle other growing problems like climate change and deforestation.
However, scientists still cannot be exactly sure about how long it will take the ozone layer to heal itself completely. Even the Ozone hole has only stopped increasing in size. For it to start shrinking, it could easily take another 10 years. The British Atlantic Survey (BAS) has been doing further research, and we could get a clearer picture of things from their results. However, one thing that cannot be doubted is that international agreements can go a long way in protecting the natural environment.
However, on another note, the CO2 levels and global warming seems to be growing worse every year. This is fuelling intense climate change that has started showing marked effects in many parts of the world. Ozone depletion is fuelled by CFCs, chemicals that are found in refrigerators and air conditioners. However, substitutes for these have been found and are being implemented on a large scale. CO2 is a completely different story, however, as fossil fuels play a very important role in daily functioning for humans. Finding substitutes is not an easy task. But we can take pride in the fact that human agreements have helped the Ozone layer and its current state. Hopefully, we can do the same with climate change.