For years we’ve heard about the hole in the ozone layer as we’ve considered how to be more environmentally conscious, making decisions about the cars we drive and the hairspray we use. The good news is: our efforts are working.
BBC News reports that a recent study shows the hole in the ozone over Antarctica has stopped growing. The study, from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), notes it will take a decade before the hole decreases in size, but the beginning of recovery is completely credited to our collective collaboration to phase-out CFC (chlorofluorocarbons) gases.
CFCs and other ozone-damaging chemicals were banned or phased out in an agreement known as the 1987 Montreal Protocol. The result of this action, according to UNEP, is the prevention of two million cases of skin cancer each year, as well as the prevention of damage to wildlife, agriculture, and people’s eyes and immune systems.
NASA scientist Dr. Ken Jucks explains, “Humans have started to do the right thing in order to convert the chemical nature of the atmosphere back towards what it was before the industrial revolution started.”
We’re excited and encouraged by these findings. It’s a great reminder that when we each make small changes, and our elected representatives take key steps, together we can create dramatic, positive results.
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Today is International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer. For ozone layer protection, the mission continues. Get ready for the UN Secretary-General’s Climate Summit to take place on September 23 in New York. Learn more by following the conversation on Twitter at #climate14. Find more climate success stories on Climasphere.org.