A climate change treaty signed 30 years ago has helped the Earth’s ozone layer heal, and may actually lead to it fully recovering.
These were the findings of a recent study published in the scientific journal Nature. The treaty in reference is the 1987 Montreal Protocol which was an international climate change treaty that called for the phasing out of any substance that might harm the ozone layer.
The Earth’s ozone layer is responsible for protecting the planet from the Sun’s ultraviolet rays. Nothing on the planet would be able to survive without its protection.
The hole in our stratosphere was created because of our use of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), which the Montreal Protocol banned.
In an interview she did with The Independent, Antara Banerjee, the lead author of the study, talks about how they studied changing air circulation patterns to determine the effectiveness of the Montreal Protocol.
She explained that: “The jet stream in the southern hemisphere was gradually shifting towards the south pole in the last decades of the 20th century due to ozone depletion."
According to the study, these movements stopped since 2000 and could even be reversing. She added that the pause in movement began around the same time that the ozone hole started to recover, which coincided with the decline of CFCs from spray cans and refrigerants thanks to the Montreal protocol.
She went on to say: “The second most important point of the study, which I would say is a very good finding, is further evidence that the ozone hole is shrinking and that is thanks to the Montreal Protocol.
“It shows that this international treaty has worked and we can reverse the damage that we’ve already done to our planet. That’s a lesson to us all that can hopefully be applied to our greenhouse gas emissions to tackle climate change."
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