Azara Blog: Earth's ozone layer allegedly on the way to repair

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Date published: 2006/08/23

The BBC says:

Leading scientists in the United States say the hole in the ozone layer of the Earth's atmosphere above the Antarctic appears to have stopped widening.

The ozone layer blocks the Sun's ultra-violet rays, exposure to which is harmful to humans, animals and plants.

International agreements were reached to end the use of ozone-depleting chemicals called CFCs after the hole was discovered in 1986.

It is hoped the hole may "heal" fully over the next 60 years.

Two of the scientists whose work helped alert the world to the existence of a hole in the ozone layer in the 1980s told a conference in Washington they were hopeful that the ozone layer was recovering.
The two scientists reaffirmed their findings at a news conference to mark the 20th anniversary of their research first alerting the world to the problems of ozone-depleting CFCs.

The NOAA said the improvement in the ozone layer was caused largely by the phasing out of CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons) from products such as aerosol sprays and refrigerators.

The production of these chemicals was restricted by the Montreal Protocol which became effective in 1987 - and is deemed a success.

However, the chemicals brought in to replace CFCs are themselves not benign, and are thought to contribute heavily to global warming.

This seems more like a publicity event than a real conference with real news, but at least the scientists are not claiming the situation is getting worse. On the other hand, the last paragraph contains the sting in the tail.

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