Interview with Sydney
Is the Ozone hole recovering?
The Ozone Layer is scattering of the blue-tinged gas in the 35 Kms deep stratosphere that starts about 15 Kms above the earth. The Ozone gas is so thinly scattered, that if collected together, would form a girdle around the earth no thicker than the sole of a shoe. But still it does most important function that allows a life on the earth to exist. It screens out harmful ultra violet rays from the sun. Such high energy and dangerous radiations in turn increase the incidences of skin cancer, reduce the potency of immune system in humans, increase the cataracts, damage corps, reduce agricultural productivity, threatens the marine food chain by destroying the planktons.
Without this sole-thick layer of Ozone, no life would be possible. We simply would not exist. In 1974, the scientists estimated that this layer may be weakened from the attack of CFCs and other long lived Ozone Depleting Substances, thereby allowing more radiation on the earth. In late 1980’s that theory was proved by way of observations that found the severe ozone depletion in the stratosphere.
The depletion of the Ozone Layer is not uniform around the global skies. Very high depletion of the Ozone concentration is termed as ‘hole’ in the layer. For more than 20 years, a hole as big as USA and as deep as Mount Everest opened over Antarctica every Southern Spring (Northern winter) .The population around and near the Antarctica like that in Australia and Chile has been put at risk.
Worldwide efforts that began in 1987 to protect the ozone layer by signing of the Montreal Protocol appear to be bearing fruit. Scientists have been measuring the concentration of chemicals like CFCs in the stratosphere through satellite measurements. Concentration of such chemicals that have been destroying the ozone layer are now “at or near peak,” and could begin to dissipate slowly — if nations stay the course. The Protocol has become the model for the international community and demonstrated how the global problem could be resolved through the collective commitment and collaborative efforts of the developed and developing countries.