Words by Smiley Team
Scientists have found that the ozone layer has reached a “significant milestone”, as levels of harmful chemicals have dropped significantly.
The NOAA (The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) released a statement today, saying “the overall concentration of ozone-depleting substances had fallen just over 50 percent back to levels observed in 1980, before ozone depletion was significant.”
What this means is that, in the forty years since we discovered that certain man-made chemicals were creating ‘holes’ in the ozone (a protective layer that absorbs ultraviolet rays from the sun), we have managed to halve the damage we made. This is incredible progress in such a short time frame and, according to the NOAA, this progress is all down to international legislature being followed.
“It’s great to see this progress,” said Stephen Montzka, senior scientist for NOAA’s Global Monitoring Laboratory. “At the same time, it’s a bit humbling to realize that science is still a long way from being able to claim that the issue of ozone depletion is behind us.”
Though at a slower rate, the concentration of these harmful chemicals in the ozone layer over Antarctica have also been declining. According to the data released by the NOAA, the presence of harmful chemicals has declined 26% since peak values in the region in the 1990s.
GET INVOLVED: Educate yourself on how to keep the ozone layer healthy with the Ozone Society.