Today is the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer. Do you know why it’s so important?
Ozone is a special form of oxygen which absorbs parts of the sun’s harmful ultraviolet radiation, therefore, it’s vital to human well-being.
Back in the 1980’s, British researchers reported a serious depletion in the ozone layer in the stratosphere (commonly referred to as the “ozone hole”!). The satellite image of the ozone hole became a global symbol of this environmental threat, caused by chemicals which could be found in e.g. aerosols, foams and halons.
32 years ago, the Montreal Protocol was created within the UN to phase out ozone-depleting chemicals in refrigerators, air-conditioners and many other products. And the cooperation over the globe has given results: today, 99% of them are gone!
And, the ozone layer is recovering!
Last year an assessment showed that parts of the ozone layer has started to recover – at a rate of 1–3% per decade since 2000. The ozone layer protection efforts have also contributed to the fight against climate change by averting an estimated 135 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions, from 1990 to 2010.
We know climate change is real, and we all need to do what we can to slow it down. That’s why it’s nice to sometimes get proof that if we work together across the globe, we can accomplish great things. So, today, on the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer, let’s celebrate co-operation, mother nature, and the fact that there are so many awesome students and researchers out there, finding new ways to more sustainable societies.