The depletion of the ozone layer shielding Earth from damaging ultraviolet rays has reached an unprecedented low over the Arctic this spring because of harmful chemicals and a cold winter…
The Earth’s fragile ozone layer in the Arctic region has suffered a loss of about 40 per cent from the start of winter until late March, exceeding the previous seasonal loss of about 30 per cent, the World Meteorological Organization said.
The Geneva-based agency blamed the loss on a buildup of ozone-eating chemicals once widely used as coolants and fire retardants in a variety of appliances and on very cold temperatures in the stratosphere, the second major layer of the Earth’s atmosphere, just above the troposphere…
This year the Arctic winter was warmer than average at ground level, but colder in the stratosphere than normal Arctic winters. U.N. officials say the latest losses — unprecedented, but not entirely unexpected — were detected in observations from the ground and from balloons and satellites over the Arctic…
The loss comes despite the U.N. ozone treaty, known as the 1987 Montreal Protocol, which has resulted in cutbacks in ozone-damaging chemicals, such as chlorofluorocarbons, halons and other, that were used in the making of refrigerators, air conditioners, fire extinguishers and even hairspray.
The 196-nation ozone treaty encourages industries to use replacement chemicals less damaging to ozone, the atmospheric layer that helps protect against the sun’s most harmful rays.
But because these compounds have long atmospheric lifetimes, it takes decades for their concentrations to subside to pre-1980 levels as was agreed in the Montreal Protocol.
U.N. officials project the ozone layer outside the polar regions will recover to pre-1980 levels sometime between 2030 and 2040.
I hope the skeptics dedicated to denial of any human-caused climate or meteorological change spend more time sunbathing. Especially in northern latitudes. They should get what they deserve.
What involvement I maintain with the automotive world and transport technology, means I still get to hear the recurrent whine about inefficiencies in the air conditioning of their vehicles because CFCs aren’t legally available anymore.
The values and priorities of self-centered pundits and science denialists never ceases to amaze.