Thanks to the Montreal Protocol, the ozone layer is reaching lows that were previously unthinkable.
The ozone layer is a great concern for human civilization, and that is why NASA is always releasing updates on its magnitude, a hole that changes in size depending on the time of year and obviously with respect to the level of contamination.
But there is good news shared by NASA and that is that the hole in antarctic ozone just reached an average area of 23.2 million square kilometers between September 7 and October 13, 2022 which is slightly smaller than last year and, in general, continues the downward trend of recent years.
“Steady progress is being made over time and the hole it’s getting smaller. We see some hesitation as weather changes and other factors cause the numbers to move slightly from day to day and week to week. But in general, we see it diminishing in the last two decades. The removal of substances that deplete ozone layer through the Montreal protocol is reducing the hole”, he points out Paul Newmanchief scientist for Earth sciences at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center POT in Greenbelt, Maryland.
And it is likely that the slight closure of this hole comes thanks to the Montreal Protocola treaty adopted 35 years ago that bans the release of harmful ozone-depleting chemicals called chlorofluorocarbons that were previously used in aerosol sprays.
What is the Montreal Protocol
The Montreal Protocol is an international treaty that protects the stratospheric ozone layer by phasing out the production and consumption of substances that deplete the layer.
The treaty was created to repair the giant hole in the ozone layer that appeared in the early 1980s, and without this Montreal protocol, the researchers estimated that we would already be facing a reality of a possible scorched Earth.
And the key has been to ban chemicals including chlorofluorocarbons that were widely used in refrigerators and aerosol cans.
This has helped curb the greenhouse effect and protect the layer, also protecting plants from harmful increases in ultraviolet radiation.
Without this treaty, researchers have commented, we would have experienced a global collapse of the ozone layer by the 2040s and 60% less ozone over the tropics by 2100.
In this way, having limited the hole in the Antarctic ozone has caused the atmosphere to recover and now NASA has had good news for civilization.