International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer (Ozone Day)

Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 19 Sep 2011

It’s over 25 years since British Antarctic Survey (BAS) scientists discovered the Ozone Hole above Antarctica. A paper published in the science journal Nature alerted the world to the dramatic and major environmental threat. The accumulation of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) used in refrigeration and air conditioning systems, and industrial solvents were found to deplete the protective layer of ozone that surrounds the Earth. Action by governments around the world led to the 1987 Montreal Protocol and its amendments, which ensured that production and consumption of CFCs, halons and carbon tetrachloride were phased out by 2000, and methyl chloroform by 2005.

But what is happening today – is the Ozone Hole showing signs of recovery? The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) reported in August that signs of ozone depletion were again appearing over the Antarctic. A few months earlier, the Antarctic ozone hole was making headlines: for the first time scientists found that it was “creating rainfall in subtropical regions”. In fact, closing of the hole in the world’s stratospheric ozone layer is still many decades away and the effects and interactions of ozone depletion on climate change are just starting to be understood. Continue reading