Some good news during these troubling times we find ourselves in, is that in a new study undertaken by experts, have confirmed the recovery of the earth’s ozone layer seems to be continuing to happen.
Managing to reverse some of the damage caused to this protective shield; an inorganic molecule existing in a layer of the earth’s stratosphere, that absorbs harmful UV rays from the sun is something to be excited about.
In 1987 an agreement called the ‘Montreal Protocol’ was created as the ozone level had decreased to a disturbingly low reading. Countries worldwide as part of this protocol, came together to put measures in place to decrease the use of ozone depleting substances (ODSs)
“This study adds to growing evidence showing the profound effectiveness of the Montreal Protocol. Not only has the treaty spurred healing of the ozone layer, it’s also driving recent changes in Southern Hemisphere air circulation patterns.” was stated by the lead writer of the study, Antara Banerjee who is a CIRES Visiting Fellow from the University of Colorado
Banerjee went on to say; “The challenge in this study was proving our hypothesis that ozone recovery is in fact driving these atmospheric circulation changes and it isn’t just a coincidence.”
A scientist from Environment and Climate Change Canada, John Fyfe who is also one of the paper’s co-authors, has said “Identifying the ozone-driven pause in circulation trends in real-world observations confirms, for the first time, what the scientific ozone community has long predicted from theory.”
The study showed only changes in ozone can cause relevant changes in circulation, even with the rise of CO2 emissions and the continued expansion of circulation including the jet stream.
Nevertheless, even with the positive effects of the ozone layer recently scientists are mindful of the fact that man-made carbon dioxide emissions and climate change could undo all this. However, if the trend continues, the ozone layer above the Northern hemisphere may be greatly improved by the mid 2030’s as reported by The Guardian in 2018.
The Corona-virus lock-downs have resulted in lower pollution levels being recorded in China and parts of Europe, but it is clear that the effects of this pandemic remains to be seen.