January 31, 2023

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Rare good news for the planet: the ozone layer is on track to recover in a matter of decades as chemicals are phased out



CNN

In rare good news for the planet, Earth’s ozone layer On track to fully recover within decades as ozone-depleting chemicals are phased out worldwide, finds new report UN-supported assessment.

The ozone layer protects the planet from harmful ultraviolet radiation. But since the late 1980s, scientists have sounded the alarm about a hole in that armor, caused by ozone-depleting substances including chlorofluorocarbons, commonly called CFCs, often found in refrigerators, aerosols and solvents.

International cooperation Help stop the damage. Use of CFCs has fallen by 99% since the Montreal Protocol entered into force in 1989, which began phasing out these and other ozone-damaging chemicals, according to the assessment by a panel of experts published Monday.

The assessment found that if global policies remain in place, the ozone layer is expected to return to 1980 levels by 2040 for most of the world. For the polar regions, the recovery time frame is longer: 2045 over the North Pole and 2066 over the Antarctic.

“Ozone action sets a precedent for climate action. Our success in phasing out chemicals that eat away at the ozone layer shows us what can and must be done — urgently — to transition away from fossil fuels, and reduce greenhouse gases convection, thus reducing overheating.” talas.

Ozone-depleting gases are also powerful greenhouse gases, and without a ban the world could have seen an additional 1 degree Celsius warming, according to 2021 study in Nature. The planet has already warmed by about 1.2 degrees since the Industrial Revolution, and scientists have warned it should be limited to 1.5 degrees Celsius. Prevent the worst consequences of the climate crisis. warming beyond 1.5 degrees Significantly increased risk From severe drought, wildfires, floods and food shortages, scientists reported.

For the first time in this assessment, which is published every four years, scientists also looked at the potential of solar geoengineering: trying to limit global warming through measures such as stratospheric spraying of aerosols to reflect sunlight from Earth’s atmosphere.

They found stratospheric aerosol injection It can help reduce climate warming But he warned that there could be unintended consequences. The report, which is published every four years, found that technology deployment “could also affect stratospheric temperatures, circulation, ozone production, destruction and transport rates.”

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