Ozone, as a chemical element, is very dangerous for the human body. However, being at an altitude of 20 km, it protects our planet from ultraviolet rays, which can cause skin cancer in humans and cause global warming. In order to prevent the destruction of the ozone layer by chemicals, in 1985, the countries signed the Montreal Protocol banning the production of hazardous chemicals. The latest UN report showed that thanks to this very agreement, mankind achieved amazing results – the ozone layer really began to recover.
According to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, the Montreal Protocol is rightfully one of the most successful international agreements in history. It is estimated that since 2000, the amount of ozone in the stratosphere has increased by 3%. Since the assessment of the state of the layer in 2014, it was noticed that the concentration of chlorine and bromine molecules, which are the main destroyers of the ozone layer, has also decreased. It is believed that with such a pace of healing, the ozone layer covering the Northern Hemisphere will return to an acceptable state by the 2030s. The stratospheric defense of the South Pole will be able to recover only by 2060.
It is noteworthy that such positive forecasts are not a reason to relax. The ozone layer can also be destroyed by the action of other substances that are not yet included in the Montreal Protocol. In this regard, it is often amended – for example, in 2016, 150 countries agreed to limit the release of hydrofluorocarbons. They have been used in refrigerators and air conditioners instead of banned chlorofluorocarbons, although they can accumulate in the atmosphere for hundreds of years in a row.
Also, do not forget that the ozone hole tends to deteriorate more depending on the season. For example, in November 2015, the area of destruction over Antarctica reached 26 million square meters.
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