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Environment: the hole in the ozone layer could be absorbed in 40 years


Reducing pollution from gases emitted by refrigerators and air conditioners helps the ozone layer to recover. But of

The efforts of the last decades seem to have borne fruit.

The ozone layer, which shields Earth from dangerous solar radiation, is 'on track' to recover in four decades, but geoengineering projects to limit global warming could threaten that progress, scientists warn. Monday.

"The phasing out of almost 99% of banned substances that destroy ozone has helped to preserve the ozone layer and contributed significantly to its recovery in the upper stratosphere and to a reduction in human exposure to radiation. harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun”, note these experts, who publish their four-year estimate under the aegis of the UN.

The hole in the ozone layer was created by man-made pollution, particularly by chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) once emitted by many refrigerators.

Over the past few decades, however, global cooperation has given the ozone layer a chance to recover.

The Montreal Protocol (Canada), signed in 1987 and ratified by 195 countries, greatly reduced the amount of CFCs in the atmosphere, and the ozone layer thus seemed to be able to completely recover, according to UN estimates.

The fight against global warming threatens the ozone layer

“If current policies remain in place, the ozone layer is expected to return to 1980 values

​​(before the ozone hole appeared)

by about 2066 over Antarctica, 2045 above above the Arctic and 2040 in the rest of the world", indicates the UN Environment.

In 2016, the Kigali agreement also provided for the phasing out of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), extremely harmful gases for the climate used in refrigerators and air conditioners.

If the agreement is respected, it could reduce global warming by 0.5°C by 2100, experts have already estimated.

Read alsoGlobal warming: these crazy techniques for manipulating the weather

However, the latter also looked for the first time at the potential effects on ozone of geo-engineering projects intended to limit global warming, warning against their undesirable effects.

The idea would be to intentionally add aerosols to the stratosphere to reflect some of the sun's rays.

One such project would be to inject billions of sulfur particles into the upper layer of the atmosphere.

An injection of particles into the atmosphere "could result in a serious drop in the level of ozone", warns John Pyle, co-chair of the scientific panel working on ozone on behalf of the UN.

“There are a lot of uncertainties,” he said.

Source: leparis

All life articles on 2023-01-09

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