A recent study has shown that the significant improvement in the ozone layer is a result of the Montreal Protocol. This agreement, which was signed in 1987, prohibits the production and use of chemicals that are most harmful to the atmosphere.
Towards the end of 2019, it was reported that the hole in the atmosphere, above Antarctica, was the smallest it had been in 30 years.
Researchers from @NASA and @NOAA work together to monitor 🛰 the ozone layer. Since the implementation of the Montreal Protocol, the ozone hole has shown definitive signs of improvement 👍https://t.co/JPOVLd1hxj pic.twitter.com/2L143qMSkZ
— NASA Earth (@NASAEarth) October 21, 2019
The hole in the ozone was found in 1985. Thereafter, the international treaty, the Montreal Protocol, was quickly signed in 1987. Before 2000, air currents called the mid-latitude jet steam, were slowly moving closer to the South Pole. This is because ozone depletion results in cooler air which strengthens the winds of the polar vortex and affects winds towards the lowest layer of the Earth’s atmosphere.
In the recent study, researchers have shown that in about 2000 this trend in the air currents were halted and even started to reverse.
“This study adds to growing evidence showing the profound effectiveness of the Montreal Protocol. Not only has the treaty spurred healing of the ozone layer, it’s also driving recent changes in Southern Hemisphere air circulation patterns,” said lead author Antara Banerjee, a CIRES Visiting Fellow at the University of Colorado Boulder who works in the Chemical Sciences Division of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
In 2018, the UN reported that this hole in the ozone could be completely healed around the 2020’s, or in 2030’s in some parts of the world.
Despite all of this good news, however, there remains a constant increase in greenhouse gases. Climate change caused by carbon emissions still plagues the Earth. So while ozone depletion is reversing, the matter of climate change still needs to be dealt with.
Image: Twitter / Rainmaker1973Climate