New Delhi: For years, the ozone layer has been bearing the brunt of technological innovations created by the human beings.
The destruction of ozone by the presence of molecules containing chlorine and bromine that came from chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) not only increased the risk of skin cancer in humans but also affected the plants, climate, economy, marine ecosystems, bio-geochemical cycles, climate and economy and almost everything that would shield the earth from the harmful ultraviolet rays.
After the human population realised that enough damage has been done to the ozone, several efforts were made to protect it by phasing out the production of numerous substances that are responsible for its depletion. Global regulations were installed to stop the consumption and production of HCFCs.
In a positive breakthrough, the researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of Leeds have discovered that the Ozone layer above Antarctica is healing and the reduction of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) has played a big role in the healing process.
“We as a planet have avoided what would have been an environmental catastrophe,” Susan Solomon, an atmospheric scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, and a pioneer in the field of Antarctic ozone loss, said. “Yay us!”
The ozone hole over Antarctica is on the mend as it shrank by 4.5 million square kilometres in the month of September, on average, between 2000 and 2015. However, it will take decades for the hole to heal completely.