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The Hole In The Ozone Layer Is Starting To Heal, Say Scientists

But is it all good news?

01/07/2016 11:56 | Updated 01 July 2016

The hole over the ozone layer is finally healing according to new research by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

A team in Boston reported “the first fingerprints of healing” in a paper released to the journal Science.

The September ozone hole has reportedly shrunk by 4 million square kilometers since 2000, when ozone depletion was recorded at its peak.

Findings attribute this positive development to the decline in usage of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) – a chemical compound previously found in dry cleaning processes, old white goods and aerosols.

Undoubtedly the Montreal Protocol has had a huge role to play in this change as it banned the use of CFCs when 46 countries signed it in 1987.

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Susan Solomon, the Ellen Swallow Richards Professor of Atmospheric Chemistry and Climate Science at MIT said: "We can now be confident that the things we've done have put the planet on a path to heal…which is pretty good for us, isn't it?”

Solomon added: “Aren't we amazing humans, that we did something that created a situation that we decided collectively, as a world, 'Let's get rid of these molecules'? We got rid of them, and now we're seeing the planet respond."

Despite the positive news, the ozone layer is not only damaged by CFCs and can be destroyed by temperature and sunlight as well.

In May 2016, for the 12th month in a row, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported record-high global temperatures.

This marked a year-long heat streak that scientists said was grim sign of climate change in action. Climate scientist Astrid Caldas said: “I’m just in shock. I wish it weren’t so.”

NASA reports that the global temperature has risen 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit in the last century and arctic ice sheets have melted a minimum of 13.4% each decade.

H/T: Science Daily

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