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IN Science & Technology ON 20 Oct, 2015
Finally some good news about the ecosystem. The giant hole in earth's ozone layer is shrinking. The atmospheric layer that protects Earth from the Sun's harmful ultraviolet rays is slowly rebuilding itself, according to a United Nations Report published Wednesday. Scientists credit the recovery to the phasing out of chemicals used in refrigerators, air conditioners and aerosol cans in the 1980s. But the great news is that it will repair itself 2075.
Scientists revealed that the hole in the Ozone layer was significantly smaller in 2009 that it was in 2008. The Nobel Prize winner Mario Molina said that this achievement was actually a victory.
The primary culprit were CFCs, which were found in aerosol cans and released from several electronic devices. CFCs damage the ozone layer and cause skin cancer and various life-threatening diseases.
It was believed that if some major steps were not taken, then ozone destruction could destabilize the aquatic food chain.
The Montreal Protocol was signed in the year 1987, was an international treaty that was designed to protect the ozone layer. This was a much-needed step, and the result is now visible after 30 years signing of the treaty.
A team of 300 scientists has been working on this project for many years. The hole near Antarctica was biggest in 2006, measuring at about 30 million square kilometres and it now stands at 20 millions square miles.
One of the chemicals, carbon tetrachloride, which was not supposed to be found, was found to be present in the atmosphere. This means that it has been in use illegally. The executive director of the U.N. Environment Program, Achim Steiner said that the success of the Montreal Protocol should encourage action by leaders not only on the protection of the ozone layer but also on various climatic issues.