published on 13 November 2018 in air
Confirmation has arrived: the ozone hole is filling up
It’s confirmed: the ozone hole is slowly but surely filling up. Proof of this comes in a report entitled Scientific Assessment of Ozone Depletion, published recently by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), together with NOAA, NASA and the European Commission.
The report states that the measures put in place by the Montreal Protocol in 1987 are taking effect: indeed, since 2000, the ozone layer has reformed in some parts of the stratosphere, at a rate of between 1 and 3% per decade. A United Nations communication states that, according to projections, ozone is expected to be fully regenerated in northern hemisphere mid-latitudes by 2030, in southern hemisphere mid-latitudes around 2050 and, lastly, in the polar regions by 2060.
The Montreal Protocol is one of the most successful multilateral agreements ever, and raises hopes for achieving good results with the Kigali amendment too, a historical agreement aiming to progressively eliminate the use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). Hydrofluorocarbons are coolant gases that came onto the market at the end of the 1980s to replace chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), substances dangerous for the stratospheric ozone layer. While not contributing to depletion of the ozone layer, HFCs are in any case powerful greenhouse gases, 14 thousand times more powerful than CO2.