From: Steve Williams, Care2, More from this Affiliate
Published May 18, 2015 07:14 AM

The Ozone hole is shrinking

New NASA satellite data confirms what other research has shown, namely that the hole in the ozone layer appears to be getting smaller.

The ozone is crucial for us here on Earth because it shields us from some of the Sun’s most damaging radiation. In the 1980s it was confirmed that a host of chemicals like CFCs that we had been using in manufacturing and, in particular in aerosols, had been breaking down that ozone layer, creating several holes including a worryingly large hole over the Arctic. In the long term our CFC use threatened to destroy this vital shield completely if we did not act.

Fortunately, and in a move that might seem rather rare today, politicians did listen to scientists and in 1989 the Montreal Protocol was brought into force as an international agreement to dramatically cut down on CFCs and begin phasing them out entirely. The Montreal Protocol wasn’t and isn’t a perfect solution, as we’ve detailed previously here, but it was at least a step in the right direction. Unfortunately, we haven’t been able to gauge the impact of our ozone saving efforts–that is, until now.

A new report based on data gained via NASA’s AURA satellite shows a long term trend that, barring unforeseen hiccups, should see the hole over the Arctic shrink to less than 8 million square miles within the next thirty years. At the moment the hole is about 12 million square smiles, so that represents a rapid rate of repair. What’s more, the rate of repair suggests that the hole could be entirely gone by the end of the 21st century.

Ozone hole image via ClimateDiscovery.

Read more at ENN Affiliate, Care2.

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