Ozone layer is back to track, Earth much safer than in 1980s

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Representational Image
Representational Image

New Delhi : A recent report by UN reveals that the ozone layer is going through the healing process, meaning that the agreements on global environment can be achieved with the aim that the catastrophic rise in world temperatures can be controlled. 

“We’ve successfully overcome the challenge on the long-term basis, but we have now to build on that success and stay put to gain more benefits.” a statement made at a UN meeting on November 5.

Ozone layer is a thin shield 15-45 km above the earth which protects life on earth. It was put on the path of recovery due to the globally-agreed actions that did not remain on paper as in case of climate change but were implemented as per the agreed schedule under the historic Multilateral Environmental Agreement called the Montreal Protocol.

The global environment agreement was made 30 years ago in response to the revelation that chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and other ozone-depleting substances – used in aerosols, cooling and refrigeration systems, and many other items – were piercing a hole in the ozone layer and allowing life threatening ultraviolet (UV) radiation to flood through on the earth. The consequences of such high-energy UV rays included higher incidences of skin cancers, cataracts, loss of immune systems and lower production of food on land and fish in the oceans.

Now, good news came from a place nearer the stratosphere, 10,000 feet above sea-level in Quito, the capital of Ecuador. A quadrennial scientific assessment jointly done by United Nations Environment (UNE) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) emphatically reported the continued healing of the ozone hole.

As per the observations by NASA, NOAA, ESA and other weather stations, the earth have clearly mentioned that the world is now safer than what it was in 1980sRecovery of the ozone layer has been up to three per cent per decade since the start of the 21st century. People on the planet are now safe from a deadly attack of the UV rays.

The message seems to be a great relief, particularly at the time when the world is struggling from the shock with a stark warning from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) which found that just 12 years (which coincides with 2030, an end point for SDGs) remain to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius beyond which the impact of a further rise in global temperatures will begin to have an increasingly extreme impact on human society and ecosystems.