No Need to Panic Over Increased Size of Hole in Ozone Layer, says U.N. Climate Agency
On Thursday, U.N.'s Weather and Climate Agency said that there is no need to get alarmed about the increased hole size in the ozone layer, responsible for protecting the earth from sun. It is expected to shrink back again. This hole that is positioned above Antarctica varies in size. It becomes the widest during polar spring due to extremely cold temperature in the stratosphere. As a result, sunlight releases chlorine radicals that destroys the ozone layer. World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said last year that they have witnessed the signs of ozone layer recovering. This can be attributed to the 1987 ban on gases that lead to depletion of ozone layer. However, it would take at least ten years before the hole starts to shrink, reports Yahoo News.
The stratosphere this year has been recorded the coldest and opened up the hole to its highest of 28.2 million square km, that is more than the size of Russia and Canada put together. WMO cited the data it acquired from NASA that the hole size has been recorded at its highest on 2nd October and has maintained those levels every day since that day. "This shows us that the ozone hole problem is still with us and we need to remain vigilant. But there is no reason for undue alarm", says Geir Braathen, senior scientist at WMO Atmospheric and Environment Research Division, as per Yahoo News. "Overall, however, this does not reverse the projected long-term recovery in the coming decades," said the statement.
In 1987's Montreal Protocol, the ozone depleting chemicals, CFCs, that were used in aerosols and refrigerators were banned. The U.N. Environment Program also says that this ban will avert at least 2 million skin cancer cases by 2030, reports Bangor Daily News.