Ozone Layer Recovers, Limiting Global Warming: UN Report

The Arctic and Antarctic ozone breaches are predicted to regress to their 1980 sizes by 2045 and 2066, respectively. The ozone layer is recovering and limiting global warming, according to a UN report.

Ozone Layer Recovers Limiting Global Warming UN Report

A United Nations-backed science board entrusted with evaluating the impacts of the 1989 Montreal Protocol – a global consensus to phase out Ozone Depleting Substances – discovered that the ozone layer is continuing to strengthen, and that as a result, the earth will avoid 0.3 – 0.5°C of global warming by 2100.

Due to a weakening of the ozone, popularly known as an ozone hole, above Antarctica, 99% of ozone-killing substances, particularly chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) that formerly kept refrigerators cool, were outlawed under the 1989 accord.

The analysis predicts that the Antarctic hole’s shrinkage will be totally reversed in about 40 years. According to DW, the considerably smaller breach above the Arctic is anticipated to close much sooner.

Ozone Layer Recovers Limiting Global Warming UN Report 2

The Arctic and Antarctic ozone breaches are predicted to regress to their 1980 sizes by 2045 and 2066, respectively. Around 2040, thinning in other parts of the world should begin to rebound.

Beyond CFCs, ozone-eating chemicals including halons, methyl chloroform, carbon tetrachloride, hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) and methyl bromide were once abundant in refrigerators, air conditioners, aerosols, solvents and pesticides. 
These compounds attack ozone by releasing chlorine and bromine atoms that degrade ozone molecules in the stratosphere.

Since the substances were banned, declining concentrations of chlorine and bromine have helped to limit human exposure to harmful UV rays from the sun that can cause skin cancer, cataracts and suppress the immune system.


“Thanks to a global agreement, humanity has averted a major health catastrophe due to ultraviolet radiation pouring through a massive hole in the ozone layer,” said UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres last September 16, World Ozone Day.

Impacts on climate change?

In the meantime, the panel confirmed the treaty’s beneficial effect on the climate, which is a side benefit that is unlikely to silence environmentalists.

“By protecting plants from ultraviolet radiation, allowing them to live and store carbon, it has avoided up to an extra 1°C of global warming,” said UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who lauded the protocol’s influence on the ozone as well as the climate, calling it a “universally ratified and decisively implemented” model for global action.

While this is ongoing, a firm, Make Sunsets, Luke Iseman’s startup that has at least $500,000 in venture money, has been conducting geoengineering experiments to cool the earth.

“Only by mirroring the cooperation and speedy action of the Montreal Protocol elsewhere can we stop the carbon pollution that is dangerously heating our world,” Guiterres continued. “The Montreal Protocol is a success because, when science discovered the threat we all faced, Governments and their partners acted.”

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