Damaged Antarctic Ozone Layer Is Finally Healing

Posted: Jul 1 2016, 4:13am CDT | by , Updated: Jul 1 2016, 8:40am CDT, in News | Latest Science News


Damaged Antarctic Ozone Layer is Finally Healing
Photo Credit: MIT
  • Damaged Ozone Layer above Antarctica showing Signs of going back to its Original State

The badly damaged ozone layer hovering above Antarctica is finally showing signs of going back to its original state.

MIT Scientists have identified the “first fingerprints of healing” of the Antarctic ozone layer. The research is published in the journal Science.

The ozone hole above Antarctica has healed to the point where 4 million square kilometers of it has shrunk back to original levels. This is an area that is half that of the USA.

The ozone hole was at its peak point in 2000 since when it seems to have healed considerably. As for the reversal, it was delayed at times by various factors including volcanic eruptions. On the whole though there has been a gradual but sure recovery. 

Fingerprints were taken of the ozone transformations in accordance with seasonal swings and height from sea level. Partly the reason behind this decline in the ozone hole was the decrease in chlorine found in CFCs in the atmosphere.

Once upon a time, these highly harmful CFCs were released by dry cleaning setups, refrigerators and aerosol sprays. However, in 1987 all the nations of the world signed the pact that was the Montreal Protocol. This virtually put the kibosh on the release of CFCs into the atmosphere.  

Finally, the planet is healing from this dangerous trend. Everyone can heave a sigh of relief. It just goes to show you that if humanity puts its mind to it, there is no problem that cannot be solved.

What is needed is right intention followed by practical action. The discovery of the ozone hole began in the 50s. In the mid 80s though steps had begun to be taken to ameliorate the situation.

Slowly and imperceptibly, the ozone layer began to heal and repair itself. The scientists tracked the recovery with the passage of time.  

Ozone is not only susceptible to corrosion by chlorine but also by sunlight and low temperatures. The chlorine erodes through the ozone layer in the presence of light and low temperatures.

Various months such as October and September were chosen as ideal times to gauge the ozone layer. September though was a better time to measure the recovery rate of the ozone layer than October.

From the year 2000 to the year 2015, the measurements were consistently showing an improvement in the situation. The devices used for gauging the ozone layer were weather balloons and satellites. Volcanic eruptions did prove to be a disrupting force, yet they were few and far between.

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The Author

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/20" rel="author">Sumayah Aamir</a>
Sumayah Aamir (Google+) has deep experience in analyzing the latest trends.




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