The Ozone Layer Is Healing

The ozone layer is healing. A new UN-backed report, released on Monday, shows that the concentration of ozone-depleting substances continues to decrease, leading to an improvement in the layer since the previous assessment carried out in 2014. Ozone in parts of the stratosphere has recovered at a rate of 1-3 percent since 2000 and, at projected rates, Northern Hemisphere and mid-latitude ozone is scheduled to heal completely by the 2030s, followed by the Southern Hemisphere in the 2050s and polar regions by 2060.

The findings of the study, “Scientific Assessment of Ozone Depletion: 2018” are being hailed as a demonstration of what global agreements like the Montreal Protocol and the Kigali Amendment, which coordinate responses to the destruction of the ozone layer, can achieve. Erik Solheim, Head of UN Environment said: “The Montreal Protocol is one of the most successful multilateral agreements in history for a reason.”

The findings also serve as an inspiration for more ambitious climate action to halt a catastrophic rise in world temperatures. The findings provide a ray of hope, less than a month after the IPCC, or Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), released a watershed report which described the devastating effects of a 2°C temperature rise compared to pre-industrial levels, described by UN chief António Guterres as an "ear-splitting wake-up call."

The writers of the report found that, if the Kigali Amendment, which aims to forbid the use of those products harming the ozone layer, is fully implemented, the world can avoid up to 0.4 percent of global warming this century, meaning that it will play a major role in keeping the global temperature rise below 2°C.

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