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Success in global environmental protection: Ozone hole as small as 30 years ago


The Earth's ozone layer has apparently regenerated over a large area, European researchers report. The previously threatening hole in the UV shield is as small as last 1989.

That brings nothing anyway anyway - this sentence verpestet like no other the environmental discussions in the climate crisis. What could a single person do, even a single state, facing a global challenge? And that the world community could agree on adequate solutions, which is to be presumed to be blue-eyed at best.

But it's not that easy, it's not that hopeless. After all, there are examples in which a global environmental problem has been successfully solved by the world community. Or say better: on the way to a solution was brought. The ozone hole over the Antarctic is such a case. It had been predicted since the mid-seventies and actually observed from the beginning of the eighties. Responsible were certain chemicals, especially so-called chlorofluorocarbons. Their use was ostracized internationally from the late eighties.

"No reason for complacency"

For some years, the ozone hole slowly closes again. The European Union's "Copernicus" atmosphere monitoring service now reports that the ozone hole over the Antarctic this year may be one of the smallest since the mid-eighties. Researchers at the European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (EZMW) in Reading, UK, have come to the conclusion that the ozone hole is currently only about half the size it normally would at this time of the year.

"Even if these ozone hole activities are very unusual, there is no reason for complacency," says CAMS boss Vincent-Henri Peuch.

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Protective layer in the universeWhat actually became of the ozone hole?

The ozone layer is about 15 to 35 kilometers high in the stratosphere. It protects living beings on Earth from the harmful effects of ultraviolet radiation from the sun. The fact that the ozone hole forms today, long after the ban on the most important pollutants, has to do with the longevity of these compounds. Typically, it forms in the Antarctic spring from August, reaching its maximum size in October. It closes again in December.

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) estimates that by 2060 the ozone layer will recover to pre-1970 levels. However, researchers warn that climate change could slow down the regeneration. In addition, ozone depleting substances have most recently been illegally produced in China.

Source: spiegel

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