The restoration of ozone layer will take decades, what makes it long and bumpy?
Fast-rising emissions of some chemical substances that used for paint stripping will delay the process of healing the ozone layer by up to 30 years. Those substances are increasing extremely faster than previously thought without any restrictions.
The scientists proved that the ozone concentration is increasing in the atmosphere above the Arctic. It’s a result of eliminating the production of Chlorofluorocarbons, or CFCs by the mid‑1990s. These chemical substances are used as solvents and refrigerants.
However, NASA estimated that the ozone levels recovery will take decades by emissions of paint stripper chemical substances that are called dichloromethane. Its level in the atmosphere rose by 60% over the past decade.
Another compound mentioned in the report is dichloroethane that’s used in the production of a light plastic that is used most in construction and agriculture. Both mainly produced in China.
These chemicals weren’t included at the time of eliminating CFCs as they break down quickly in the atmosphere, and thus hadn’t been expected to build up. Scientists lately proved from air samples analyzed that these chemicals are getting up quicker with a lot of damage.
Grant Allen, an atmospheric physicist at the University of Manchester, believes that limiting the production of this chemical, whatever its source, will prevent destruction over 30 years in which it’ll save many lives.
What is Ozone?
The ozone is a shield layer of collective oxygen atoms existing high in the stratosphere. These atoms block most of the sun’s harmful ultraviolet radiation that could be detrimental to creatures on the earth.
Ozone’s atoms can be broken by a different kind of man-made chemicals released into the atmosphere such as CFCs. After much scientific scrutiny, CFCs were gradually eliminating. Now, emissions of other chemicals threaten the ozone layer and it should be eliminated as well.
Long-term or Short-term to recover?
Scientist found that cold wind brings these chemicals from factories in China to the eastern Pacific. It’s one of the main places where air gets upraised into the stratosphere.
“It was the canary in the coalmine that showed us that if we didn’t back off with these chemicals, we’d have a crisis” said study co-author Susan Solomon, of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Some researchers are not convinced about what have been shown in the new report in which those chemicals could reach an exact part of the atmosphere where the ozone hole can be done. “The measurements report dichloromethane at an altitude of 10-12km – this is still the troposphere,” said Dr. Susan Strahan from Nasa.
However, the chemicals that damage the ozone layer can persist in the atmosphere for decades. It’s hopeful to follow the successful eradication of harmful CFCs by the same action to avert the worst consequences of such chemicals. If the public didn’t phase out CFCs, we would have lots of problems with skin cancer and eye damage. So nations are able to accelerate the process of healing the ozone layer by getting together and come up with solutions.