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At Last, Great News About the Ozone Layer

It's healing, but how?
IMAGE NASA/USPLASH
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The ozone layer healing isn't exactly new. The United Nations reported it first back in 2018, but what's new is that scientists have finally figured out how it's healing.

A new study has revealed it was the Montreal Protocol, an international treaty signed 33 years ago by 197 countries, that led to the recovery. The findings were published in the journal Nature, with the focus on the global effects of the treaty.

The Montreal Protocol had the goal of stopping ozone-depleting substances such as chlorofluorocarbons, hydrochlorofluorocarbons, and hydrofluorocarbons which are found in flame retardants, fire extinguishants, refrigerants, and more. 

Today, the ozone layer above Antarctica has recovered significantly. An additional study from the University of Colorado Boulder mentioned that the ozone hole is currently the smallest it has been since it was first discovered.

But we're not out of the woods just yet.

Lead researcher Antara Banerjee says there's still a long way to go when it comes to greenhouse gas emissions. "We term this a 'pause' because the poleward circulation trends might resume, stay flat, or reverse," Banerjee said. "It's the tug of war between the opposing effects of ozone recovery and rising greenhouse gases that will determine future trends."

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Paolo Chua
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