The hole in the Earth's ozone layer should be completely cured within 50 years, climate change experts predict in a new UN report.
The ozone layer is a fragile gas shield around the planet protecting animal and plant life from the strong ultraviolet (UV) rays of the sun. When the ozone layer is weakened, more UV rays can penetrate, making humans more susceptible to skin cancer, cataracts, and other diseases.
Scientists discovered major layer damage in the 1980s and identified chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) as the main polluter.
CFCs were common in refrigerators, aerosol cans and chemical cleaners, but were banned worldwide under the 1
The decline in CFCs in our atmosphere caused by these measures is expected to have fully recovered from the ozone layer in the 2060s, according to a report from the UN Environment Program, the World Meteorological Organization, the European Commission and others Body.
In parts of the stratosphere, where most of the ozone is found, the stratum has recovered by 1-3% per decade since 2000, according to the authors.
The amount of ozone in the stratosphere naturally varies over the year, with zone degradation most pronounced in the polar regions, leading to so-called ozone holes.
The UN report predicted recovery rates suggest that the northern hemisphere and mid-latitude ozone layer will be fully healed by 2030, followed by the southern hemisphere in the 2050s and the polar regions by 2060.
Erik Solheim, head of the UN Environment, described the Montreal Protocol as "one of the most successful multilateral agreements in history".
Paul Newman, chairman of NASA, co-chair of the report, said that by 2065, two thirds of the ozone would have been destroyed if the measures were not implemented.
Back in May, scientists from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reported a large increase in CFCs from an unknown source.
"We are giving the world community a banner and saying, 'This is what's going on, and it's getting us away from the timely recovery of the ozone layer.'" "NOAA scientist Stephen Montzka, the lead author of the study, said in a statement by the time.
Montzka said that if the source of the new emissions could be identified and limited, the damage to the ozone would be small.
If this could not be resolved, the already slow recovery of the atmosphere's protective layer could be further delayed.
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