Ozone hole recovers after chemical ban

The ozone hole has been created headache among scientist, and since many years they are trying to reduce it. Well, the new study has formed that, the ozone hole is now recovering slowly. It is for the first time that the scientists from NASA have managed to detect this via a satellite instrument developed by Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. They found that chlorine level in the Earth’s atmosphere is now declining. Chlorine is one of the major gas which has destroyed the ozone layer.  The new study has been published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters on 4th January.

It has been proved that chorine containing the chemical known as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) has been destroying protective layers of the Earth. But after an international ban on CFCs, the scientists recorded less ozone layer depletion. When they compared the current results with the results obtained in the year 2015, they found a reduction of 20 per cent in ozone layer depletion. NASA’s Aura satellite measured the chlorine and ozone layer status during the Antarctic winter.

Susan Strahan, the lead author of the study and an atmospheric scientist from Goddard Space Flight Center of NASA in Greenbelt, Maryland commenting in this result, stated that CFCs level is now decreasing resulting less depletion of ozone layer.

This dangerous chemical compound when rising into the stratosphere, by ultraviolet rays of the Sun, they started realigns chlorine atoms which affect negatively on ozone. The lifesaving layer, ozone protects from harmful ultraviolet radiation. Without the stratospheric ozone layers, ultraviolet radiation can easily get across the atmosphere. If it happens then, it can cause skin cancer, macular degradation and can affect plants.

After finding major depletion at the Antarctic ozone layers, in 1985 countries from all over the world came together to protect this. They signed the Montreal Protocol. Then it was initiated to ban the use of such substances which were causing depletion of ozone layer. Later, production of CFCs completely banned under this protocol.

Before this, scientists had used statistical analyses to study changes in the ozone layer, and that only showed ozone layer depletion is reducing. But this time the scientists analyzed the process by measuring the chemical composition. After that, they were able to confirm both ozone layer depletion and CFCs are now decreasing.

As per the report, the ozone depletion in the Antarctic zone formed in September. This is the winter time for the southern periphery. One of the prime reason behind the ozone depletion is the cycle of chlorine and bromine reaction which is caused by human’s action.

The scientists investigated data obtained from JPL’s Microwave Limb Sounder (MLS) aboard the Aura satellite to detect the changes in ozone and other chemicals all over the years. The MLS measures the data since mid-2004.

Strahan stated that by mid-October, all the chlorine compounds are conveniently converted into one gas, so by measuring hydrochloric acid, the team is able to measure the total chlorine. For now, this has come as a relief for humans living on Earth.

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