Science

Ozone is healing at the poles but not at the lower latitudes, says study

Recently scientists had revealed that the ozone hole is shrinking owing to lesser deposits of chlorine in the atmosphere. But, that healing of Ozone took place at the poles. A new study claims that the Ozone layer at the latitudes is not recovery and is thinning day by day. The study revealed that the ozone layer has shown no signs of improvement in the last twenty years. According to the study, the bottom part of the ozone layer at more populated latitudes is not healing and the scientists could not find out why.

The ozone layer is very important for Earth as it protects us from harmful UV radiations of the Sun. The protective layer is situated in the stratosphere region of the atmosphere and a large portion of the ozone layer is present in the lower part of the stratosphere. Back in 1970, scientists found out the chemicals called CFCs are depleting the ozone layer and after many years, the use of CFCs was banned globally.

Co-Author of the study, Professor Joanna Haigh, Co-Director of the Grantham Institute for Climate Change and the Environment at Imperial College London informed that Ozone has been seriously declining globally since the 1980s. Although the global ban on CFCs has healed the ozone at the poles, it has not been able to heal layer at the lower latitudes. “The potential for harm in lower latitudes may actually be worse than at the poles. The decreases in ozone are less than we saw at the poles before the Montreal Protocol was enacted, but UV radiation is more intense in these regions and more people live there,” informed Haigh.

Although the exact cause of this thinning of the ozone layer at the lower latitudes could not be decoded, the scientists are suspecting that climate change might be obstructing the ozone layer to heal. Dr. William Ball from ETH Zurich and PMOD/WRC Davos, who led the analysis, said that their team was surprised to find out that the lower latitude ozone is declining since their current best atmospheric circulation models do not predict this effect. He suspects that very short-lived substances might have managed to reach the stratosphere and have resulted in the depletion of ozone layer.

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