One minute read. Written by Vania Arora, A grade 6 student
While Coronavirus is causing great harm to human life, there seems to be one silver lining – the earth is healing. The ozone layer is getting better!
What’s the ozone layer and what does it do?
The earth’s shield from ultraviolet radiation is the ozone layer and unfortunately has been getting depleted due to harmful greenhouse gases, excessive pollution and carbon dioxide. In 1976, researchers shared that the ozone layer was being depleted by chemicals such as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) which are released by work in industries across the world. More and more ultraviolet radiation was thus being created and causing several health problems.
On 16th September 1987, an international treaty called the Montreal Protocol was signed to protect the ozone layer by phasing out the production of ozone depleting substances (ODSs). New studies suggest the reversing or pausing of air trouble in the southern hemisphere because of the protocol.
How is the Coronavirus outbreak helping in healing the ozone layer?
As we know, the coronavirus outbreak has caused many breakdowns in industry and economy of the world; but on the brighter side this worldwide pandemic has caused many improvements in the environment. With only essentials allowed at the moment, our entire country has gone on a lockdown with no offices, schools or non-essential services to be open. As a result of this, there is no industrial activity or road traffic. This has led to some marvellous results!
According to the centre-run system of air quality, the lockdown and social distancing measures taken to prevent the coronavirus outbreak have resulted in a significant drop in PM2.5 (fine particulate pollutant) by 30 percent in Delhi itself. Also, the industrial emissions of gases, carbon dioxide and smoke have slowed down considerably. Nitrogen dioxide (NO2) is produced from car engines, plants and industrial engines. Road traffic alone contributes to about 80% of the NO2 emissions, and now since the lockdown, there are barely any cars on the road. A few months ago, all the schools in Delhi had shut down due to hazardous levels of air pollution. If we look at the current situation, the AQI (air quality index) is good (which is many steps better than the earlier index of hazardous). This seems like a blessing in disguise, and it feels like the ozone layer is slowly healing itself.
Written by Vania Arora.
Vania is a grade 5 (going to 6) student. She loves to read, draw and experience new things and places.
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