The Shocking Significance of Ozone Layer Depletion
In 1974 Mario Moline and Sherwood Rowland produced a report drawing attention to the human impact on the ozone layer. This part of the earth’s atmosphere is known as the earth’s shield which helps protect everyone, our plants and marine life. This shield absorption is paramount to the earth’s conservation. Without this vital protection, we would see cases of skin cancer and cataracts raise. The reason for the rise in these cases is due to harmful rays known as VVB rays. In the 1970s, when Moline and Rowland’s report first got published, they concluded; the ozone layer will be damaged beyond repair if the use of CFC found in aerosols were not reduced.
The ozone layer is the most damaged in the South Pole particularly around August to November. It would be insensitive to say “I live nowhere near the South pole” and just ignore the matter if we all take this approach. Eventually the hole will be where we live and then our attitude would change but the question arises of, “Are we too late?”.
There is one simple explanation as to why the ozone layer is being damaged and ultimately it’s due to humankind. If we work together, we can reduce the number of physical illnesses that are caused by the ozone layer being damaged. It is not too late, we can and are repairing this essential layer, we just need to continue.
The Current State of the Ozone Layer
A study in 2018 revealed that the Ozone layer was not healing as quickly as what was first anticipated. The study concluded, this was due to the concentration of CFCs in the atmosphere being higher than what they should have been. This caused a worldwide investigation as to what countries were using CFCs since the ban in 2010.
The investigation concluded that Eastern China was still using CFCs. After this illegal production was stopped, levels returned to what was estimated. By the end of 2020 it concluded that the hole in the layer had closed.
This graph shows that in 2020 the ozone hole in the Southern Hemisphere had reached zero. While this is an incredible achievement, it requires us not to be complacent. To protect our earth we still need to help the ozone layer to become stronger. So if we ever have a setback as we did in 2018 then the ozone layer may not be damaged as quickly as before.