Good news: The hole in the ozone layer is finally starting to heal
Sometimes the world really can get together and avert a major environmental catastrophe before it’s too late. A new UN report finds that the Earth’s protective ozone layer is finally starting to recover — after efforts in the 1980s to phase out CFCs and other destructive chemicals.
… Scientists uncovered the problem in time. And, under the 1987 Montreal Protocol, world leaders agreed to phase out CFCs — despite industry warnings that abolishing the chemicals would impose steep costs. The hole in the ozone layer stopped expanding. The global economy kept chugging along.
Now comes further good news. The latest UN assessment, conducted by some 300 scientists, has found that the ozone layer is just now starting to heal — and should be back to its 1980 levels by 2050, though there will be ups and downs along the way.
… As a result of the Montreal Protocol, companies and countries stopped using CFCs and started using HFCs (hydrofluorocarbons) as a replacement. That seemed like a satisfying solution — at least until global warming became a much more pressing issue in the ensuing decades.
—Brad Plumer (September 10, 2014). Vox.com