Scientists report shrinking ozone hole

(ORDO NEWS) — The hole in the ozone layer over the Earth’s South Pole has shrunk by more than 1.12 million square meters over the past year. km. This area is comparable to the territory of the US state of Texas.

According to experts from NASA (US space agency), the reduction was due to a ban on chemicals used in aerosols. According to NASA, the hole has reached an area of ​​14.32 million square meters. km by 13 October. A year earlier, its size exceeded 14.47 million square meters. km.

Closing the gap is due to the Montreal Protocol, a treaty adopted 35 years ago to ban the release of harmful ozone-depleting chemicals called chlorofluorocarbons, or CFCs, used in aerosols.

Paul Newman, chief scientist in the Earth Sciences Division at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt (USA, Maryland), said that over time, there has been steady progress, and the hole is getting smaller.

“We see some fluctuations as changes in the weather and other factors affect performance from week to week. But overall, over the past two decades, the hole has shrunk. The elimination of ozone-depleting substances under the Montreal Protocol led to its reduction,” he explained.

The ozone layer is located in the stratosphere – it protects the Earth from the ultraviolet rays of the sun. The ozone layer is thinning and a hole forms in it over the South Pole every September.

Chlorine and bromine from human-produced compounds that enter the upper atmosphere are to blame. NASA researchers are measuring the growth and decay of the ozone hole using instruments aboard the Aura and NOAA-20 satellites.

The Montreal Protocol, adopted in 1987, is an international treaty that protects the stratospheric ozone layer by phasing out the production and consumption of ozone-depleting substances.

The agreement came about after the discovery of a giant hole in the ozone layer in the early 1980s. Scientists believe that without the Montreal Protocol, earthlings would have already faced the reality of scorched earth.

Banning chemicals, including CFCs, once widely used in refrigerators and aerosol cans, has protected the climate in two ways.

This helped curb the greenhouse effect and protected against harmful increases in ultraviolet (UV) radiation. Without the treaty, the world’s population would face global ozone depletion by the 2040s, and by 2100 there would be 60% less ozone over the tropics.

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