The hole in the ozone layer could completely disappear by 2060

The hole in the ozone layer could completely disappear by 2060

A new report from the United Nations (UN) brings good news for the environment: the ozone layer is doing better. The fight, however, is not won yet.

Since the discovery of the thinning of the ozone layer over Antarctica in 1985, many efforts - embodied in the Montreal Protocol signed two years later - have been implemented to reduce the emission of the volatile products causing the problem. A new UN report, the result of four years of work, is an encouraging finding: the ozone layer is healing.

According to estimates, since 2000, the repair of the ozone layer has progressed at a rate of 1 to 3% per decade. This means that if our efforts continue at the same speed, the ozone layer could be fully restored by the 2030s for the northern hemisphere and mid-latitudes.

For the southern hemisphere and the polar regions, however, this healing will take much longer, pushing the deadline to 2060. According to a recent report by NASA and NOAA, the hole in the ozone layer forming in the high atmosphere overlooking Antarctica was significantly larger this year than in previous years due to extreme cold conditions in the region.

No improvement without union

Starting next year, a new amendment to the Montreal Protocol will come into force, aimed at strengthening the fight against climate change for decades to come. It will directly target hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), gases found in our refrigerators and air conditioners, but also in all kinds of aerosols and used in the production of insulating foam, and whose adverse effects are tens of thousands of times greater than those of carbon

"The Montreal Protocol is one of the most successful multilateral agreements in history for a good reason," says Erick Solheim, head of UN Environment. "The precise mix of scientific authority and collaborative action that has defined the protocol for more than 30 years [...] is the exact reason why the Kigali amendment offers great promise for the future of the climate."

"Generally, that's good news. Projections for the future are relatively positive, if the parties continue to follow the Montreal Protocol, "moderates Paul Newman of NASA. In a climate of political tension, where climate change has been dangerously rampant, the game is not yet won. If all nations agree to unite for the future of humanity, the ozone layer could be saved and the temperature rise reduced from 0.2 to 0.4 ° C.

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