Climate change efforts have resulted in a marked improvement in the Ozone Layer.
- The Scientific Assessment on Ozone Depletion is a regular research paper published by the World Meteorological Organization, the U.S. Department of Commerce, the European Commission, the United Nations, and NASA every four years to discuss the state of the Ozone Layer, following the implementation of the Montreal Protocol in 1987.
- The Ozone Layer is part of the upper atmosphere that reduces ultraviolet radiation—and whose depletion has been linked to skin cancer and climate change.
- The most recent report, published in October 2022, says that efforts to fix the Ozone Layer will have successfully recovered it in depleted areas between 2040 and 2066.
- United Nations applauded the news on Monday with a press statement, saying, “The impact the Montreal Protocol has had on climate change mitigation cannot be overstressed.”
Why It’s Important
The news is a significant victory for climate activists, who have been pushing since the late 1980s to abolish chemicals that dilute the protective layer of our planet’s atmosphere. The report also applauds climate change efforts that have helped successfully lower expected climate change levels below the expected 0.5 to one degree Celsius increase.
“Scientists and environmental groups have long lauded the global ban of ozone-depleting chemicals as one of the most critical environmental achievements to date, and it could set a precedent for broader regulation of climate-warming emissions,” says CNBC.
The United Nations took the success as a chance to encourage further climate change action, that the phasing out of Ozone-eating chemicals is a decisive first step as the world shifts towards green energy and greenhouse gas reduction. It also warned against the dangers of geoengineering, that attempting to reduce the adverse effects of climate change through aerosol releases could have unintended consequences.
“The panel cautioned against using a potential method to reduce climate warming by increasing sunlight reflection. But they warned that an unintended consequence of strategical aerosol injection was that it could also affect stratospheric temperatures, circulation and ozone production, and destruction rates and transport,” says the United Nations.
“Actions taken under the Montreal Protocol continued to decrease atmospheric abundances of controlled ozone-depleting substances and advance the recovery of the stratospheric ozone layer … Actions taken under the Montreal Protocol continue to contribute to ozone recovery. Recovery of ozone in the upper stratosphere is progressing,” says the study.