A 31-year global agreement to reduce the level of ozone-depleting chemicals may ultimately pay according to a new report.
Last week, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported that a hole that forms in the Antarctic ozone every September was not as great as it would have been 20 years ago.
The ozone is a layer of soil that “acts as sunscreen” to protect the plant from ultraviolet radiation that can lead to skin cancer and cataracts, damage plants and suppress immune systems, according to NOAA.
The hole was still “slightly above average” this year, the report reported. But it could have been worse considering that colder than average temperatures created the ideal conditions to destroy the ozone in the Antarctic stratosphere, NOAA reported.
NOAA and NASA researchers pay the Montreal Protocol to prevent the hole from growing. The agreement was signed by all countries in the world in 1
987 with the aim of reducing and decommissioning the production and consumption of chemical substances that break down the ozone.
“The chlorine levels in the Antarctic stratosphere have fallen about 11 percent from the peak of 2000,” said Paul A. Newman, Earth Research Scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. “The cooler temperatures of the year would have given us a much larger chlorine ozone holes were still in levels we saw back in 2000. “