A 31-year global agreement to reduce ozone depleting chemicals could finally pay off, according to a new report.
Last week, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported that there was a hole in the ozone. Above Antarctica, September was not as big as 20 years ago.
Ozone is a layer above the surface that acts "like a sunscreen" to protect the plant from ultraviolet radiation, which can lead to skin cancer and cataracts, damages plants and suppresses the immune system according to NOAA.
The hole was still "a bit above average this year," the report said. It could have been worse, however, as the below-average temperatures created the ideal conditions for the destruction of ozone in the Antarctic stratosphere. The agreement was signed in 1
"The chlorine level in the Antarctic stratosphere has dropped about 11 percent from its peak in 2000," said Paul A. Newman, chief scientist for Earth Sciences at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, in a statement. "The colder temperatures this year would have given us a much larger ozone hole when the chlorine was at a level we had seen in 2000."