Human activities have led to depletion of the ozone layer which helps absorb the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays and prevents them from reaching the surface of the Earth. Besides, it helps in keeping ocean currents on their natural course.
Rapid industrialisation, cutting of forest for infrastructure projects and setting up of factories and indiscriminate use of natural resources are some of the factors responsible for depletion of the ozone layer.
However, this protective layer has started healing itself. In April 2020, a report surfaced suggesting that a massive hole had developed in the ozone layer over the Artic. Scientists attributed this to climate change. Apart from this, they also asserted that cooler temperatures in the atmosphere above the north pole was responsible behind the opening up of a hole in the layer.
The hole covered an area of 620,000 square miles, becoming the largest one ever recorded in the Arctic region. Later, scientists observing the hole at Copernicus’ Atmospheric Monitoring Service (CAMS) revealed that it had closed.
They stated that owing to low temperature in the Arctic stratosphere for several months at the beginning of this year, polar stratospheric clouds were formed. This resulted in developing a hole in ozone over the region.
As the ozone healed itself, the scientists said that would continue to monitor the region to see how the healed area would mix with the stratosphere.
Last year, on the occasion of World Ozone Day, which is observed on September 16, UN Environment Programme https://news.un.org/en/story/2019/09/1046452″ target=”_blank”>informed that the discontinuing of controlled uses of ozone-depleting substances had helped replenish the protective layer.
The credit for the recovery of the layer went to the Montreal Protocol, signed in 1987 to minimize the use of ozone-depleting chemicals in refrigerators, air-conditioners and other products.
UNEP https://twitter.com/UNEP/status/1173631406532124672″ target=”_blank”>said, “The #MontrealProtocol has averted more than 135 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions going into the atmosphere from 1990-2010.”
As per the UNEP, the Northern Hemisphere and mid-latitude ozone will completely replenish by the 2030’s and it will recover in the Southern Hemisphere by 2050’s.