The Hole In The Ozone Layer May Be Healing

The Hole In The Ozone Layer May Be Healing

In the mid-1980s, scientists began to notice that the ozone layer above Antarctica was thinning dramatically. In 1986, we had a reason: chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), gases that were used in a wide range of products, from aerosol cans to air conditioners. CFC molecules contain chlorine and bromine, which interact with the polar chill and springtime sunlight of Antarctica to eat away at the protective ozone layer and allow harmful ultraviolet radiation to reach the Earth. Luckily, governments throughout the world came to an agreement on this problem, and banned the use of CFCs worldwide through the Montreal Protocol in 1987. Today, it appears that the ban is working: Professor Susan Solomon, the same scientist to discover the role of CFCs in ozone depletion, worked with a research team to take precise measurements of ozone levels between 2000 and 2015. They found that the hole has shrunk by approximately 4.5 million square kilometers (1.7 million square miles), an area roughly the size of India. Professor Solomon predicts that we could see a full recovery of the ozone layer by the year 2060. We've collected some awesome videos on this topic. Watch them now to learn more.

What Happened To The Hole In The Ozone Layer?

Scientists say the hole in the ozone layer is repairing itself. What's doing it?

What Caused The Hole In The Ozone Layer?

Here's why an ozone hole appeared in the first place.

02:21

from NASA Goddard

Key Facts In This Video

  • 1

    The ozone layer acts as the Earth's sunscreen by blocking UV radiation. (0:02)

  • 2

    Here's how chlorine and bromine, cold temperatures, and sunlight combine to create a hole in the ozone layer. (0:20)

  • 3

    Current predictions are that the ozone hole will return to the size it was in 1980 by the year 2070. (1:55)

Are Aerosols Really Bad For the Ozone Layer?

Hear why CFCs have been banned.

Mystery In The Ozone Layer

Why is the harmful chemical CCl4 so abundant in the ozone layer?

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Atmosphere

Science

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Sustainability

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