- 1440 Daily Digest
Ozone Layer Recovery
Earth's ozone layer is expected to return to 1980 levels in the next few decades, according to a United Nations report released yesterday. The once-every-four-years assessment confirms the collaborative efforts of one of the world's most successful treaties, the Montreal Protocol of 1987, which saw 198 countries agree to ban the use of ozone-depleting substances. In the 1980s, scientists discovered diminishing levels of UV-blocking ozone in the stratosphere, particularly in the Earth's polar regions. Researchers noted chlorofluorocarbons—used widely in fire suppression, refrigerators, and aerosol sprays—broke down into ozone-depleting bromine and chlorine in the stratosphere, contributing to a decline in the ozone layer. Concerns over the damage a thinner ozone layer would have on Earth's ecosystems led to the rapid adoption of bans on ozone-depleting substances. See the global reduction in harmful chemicals here. The report claimed average global ozone levels will reach pre-1980 levels in 2040, while the Antarctic region will do so by 2066. Read highlights from the report here.