Written by Ananya Sharma, a grade 11 student.
The Earth without the ozone layer is like a body without a skin. The ozone layer is the Earth’s protective layer, it protects all the living things on the planet from the sun’s harmful UV Rays.
Harmful human activities cause ozone depletion and global warming. The main cause behind ozone depletion and the creation of ozone holes are manufactured chemicals like halocarbon refrigerants, propellants and foam blowing agents, referred to as ozone-depleting substances (ODS).
In the past, NASA scientists warned of the probability of a major Arctic ozone hole developing in the spring of 1992 due to increased levels of chlorine monoxide in the region’s stratosphere.
The ozone hole had reached its highest peak in the month of March, 2011. Furthermore, ozone depletion in 2020 was even stronger: according to WMO’s
Global Atmosphere Watch , NASA and the Copernicus Atmospheric Monitoring Service. The record-breaking hole in the ozone layer, which developed to become the
largest we have ever seen over the Arctic, has closed just weeks after opening, said the scientists observing the phenomenon.
The “unprecedented” hole was roughly three times the area of Greenland and stretched over the top of the polar icecap.
The Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS) announced the ozone in the affected area had recovered on April 23rd.
However, our ozone layer is constantly and steadily repairing itself after a drastic global reduction in the use of ozone-depleting substances, founded by the UN. Our world’s ozone layer is on its way to be completely recovered by the 2060s. In the past 19-years, parts of the ozone layer have been healed at a rate of one to three per cent every ten years, founded by UNEP. If this steady
recovery continues, the ozone layer of the Northern Hemisphere’s is set to heal entirely by 2030s, the Southern Hemisphere by the 2050s, and the polar
regions as well.
Unrelated to COVID
Even though the Coronavirus lockdowns has resulted in a significant reduction in air pollution. The healing of the ozone layer was completely unrelated to COVID, the phenomenon probably had nothing to do with the pandemic. Even according to CAMS, the lock down did not have anything to do with the ozone layer healing and that it has been associated with the strong and long-lived
polar vortex, and it’s not related to changes in the air quality.
Moreover, a healed ozone layer would increase even the temperatures in Antarctica, scientists and geologists are not sure about the exact numbers. However, they do know that the change in temperature would drastically affect the area which is already suffering from climate changes we humans are responsible for.
Now it is our responsibility to take immediate global actions to help the restoration of the environment we live in, the air we breathe, the earth where we exist. Let the rising greenhouse emission be fuel in our compassing and our humanity; and let us not blame but stand together to balance the scale, which we furrowed with selfishness. It is time for us to be the change the world needs and reverse the damage we have inflicted.
Written by Ananya Sharma
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