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GreenLeap News » Ozone Layer Healing Slower Than First Believed

Ozone Layer Healing Slower Than First Believed

According to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the United Nations' Environmental Program (UNEP), the planet's ozone layer is indeed replenishing itself… but more slowly than originally believed. In 2002, scientists predicted that weakened areas of the ozone layer would strengthen to pre-1980 levels by 2044. Now, however, the date has been pushed back 5 years to 2049.

The two international agencies' latest conclusions stem from an official report issued by 250 scientists. They recently studied the effects of the 1987 Montreal Protocol, which committed participating nations to ban the use of products containing ozone-depleting chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). Some products that traditionally used CFCs were aerosol sprays, air-conditioners and refrigerators.

Since the early 1990s, CFC use has greatly decreased worldwide. Because of this reduction, experts initially thought that the ozone layer would regenerate relatively quickly. However, hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), a popular CFC-substitute, remain in high production. And though they cause less damage than CFCs, HCFCs negatively affect ozone as well. Therefore, earlier projections have been corrected to account for the negative effect HCFCs will have on the ozone layer’s regenerative process.

Source: Reuters

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