The ozone layer is recovering, but a setback is possible if environmental issues are not prioritized.
Rabat – A new study shows that damages to the Earth’s ozone layer have paused. The scientific paper links the positive development to the ban on ozone-depleting substances in 1987.
The ozone layer of the earth’s stratosphere absorbs the sun’s ultraviolet radiation. In 1985, the international community first recognized the depletion of the ozone layer an imminent threat because of its immediate ramifications including skin cancer.
The Montreal Protocol, signed in 1987, barred the use of ozone-depleting substances. Morocco is a party to the protocol, which is the only treaty in history signed by all UN-recognized countries.
The decrease in the concentration of ozone gas is commonly known as the ozone hole. This damage was human-made, stemming from the use of ozone-depleting substances such as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs).
The research paper, published in the scientific journal Nature, tracked changes in the layer since parties signed the protocol in 1987, noting a pause since the early 2000s.
“We demonstrate that stratospheric ozone recovery, resulting from the Montreal Protocol, is the key driver of the pause,” explain the authors.
The researchers also note that the layer is capable of making full recovery but could also regress. Though the ozone layer has been recovering, emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses (GHS) are on a continuous rise, which offsets positive impacts.
The ozone layer repair, facilitated by the Montreal Protocol, proves that a global commitment to counter environmental damage can lead to life-saving results.