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techkenyot.com March 21, 2019


Cutting back on harmful chemicals is definitely healing the ozone layer

09 November 2018, 11:00 | Edward Lowe

School children hold umbrellas during an awareness campaign to protect the ozone layer as part of the International Ozone Day

School children hold umbrellas during an awareness campaign to protect the ozone layer as part of the International Ozone Day

The Assessment, which is meant to add to the scientific basis for decisions made by the Parties to the Montreal Protocol, also presents updated scenarios for hastening ozone recovery through: Complete elimination of controlled and uncontrolled emissions of substances such as carbon tetrachloride and dichloromethane, Bank recapture and destruction of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), halons, and hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) and Elimination of HCFC and methyl bromide production, as well as the Mitigation of nitrous oxide emissions. When the ozone layer is weakened, more UV rays can get through, making humans more prone to skin cancer, cataracts and other diseases.

The one-week meeting opened on Monday in the presence of more than 600 delegates, whose main interest is to look for alternatives to reduce ozone depleting substances and prevent global warming.

Ozone protects life on Earth from harmful levels of ultraviolet rays from the sun. Besides dichloromethane, another highly concentrated chemical identified in the stratosphere includes 1,2-dichloroethane - an ozone-depleting substance used to make PVC, a popular construction material.

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"These new assessment results highlight the importance of continued long-term monitoring of HFCs in the atmosphere as the Kigali Amendment begins to take hold", said David Fahey, Co-Chair of the Montreal Protocol Scientific Assessment Panel and scientist at the NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory in the US.

If the current rate of recovery of about 1 percent to 3 percent per decade continues, then the northern hole could be closed completely by 2030 and the southern by 2060. The Kigali Amendment was passed by delegates from all over the world in 2016. This year, the ozone hole over the South Pole totalled almost 25 million square kilometers - 16% smaller than the 2006 peak. Newman added that if we hadn't made these changes, two-thirds of the ozone layer would have been destroyed by 2065.

Scientists say the Antarctic ozone hole is expected to gradually close, and that the entire ozone layer will return by the 2060s to levels last seen in the 1980s.

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Today, experts from the United Nations, with the support of colleagues from leading environmental institutions and communities around the world released a report on the current status and trends in relation to the recovery of the ozone layer.

If the Kigali Agreement is followed to the letter, the authors of the report believe the world can avoid up to 0.4pc of global warming this century. It's all thanks to the Montreal Protocol, a treaty created to stop the spread of ozone-depleting substances (ODS).

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"I don't think we can do a victory lap until 2060", Newman said.



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