If we continue our current patterns of lowering the use of ozone-depleting compounds, our planet's ozone layer will be fully recovered by 2066, according to a report sponsored by the United Nations (UN).
Nearly 100 compounds, such as the chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) frequently found in aerosols, were classified as harmful to the health of our planet's ozone layer under the Montreal Protocol, which was accepted internationally in 1987.
The Montreal Protocol on Ozone Depleting Substances intended to control the use of these chemicals, and the Scientific Assessment Panel to the Montreal Protocol on Ozone Depleting Substances has produced a status report every four years.
The most recent assessment indicates that we're making progress toward restoring the ozone layer, and it will be delivered at the 103rd annual meeting of the American Meteorological Society, which is presently taking place.
The data indicates that it should recover over the majority of the world by 2040, over the Arctic by 2045, and over the Antarctic by 2066.
The report also noted the success in reducing hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), which were substituted for CFCs in the past but are still seen negatively by the environment despite being less destructive to ozone.
Over time, the ozone layer's hole has shrunk gradually less. PHOTO: Vox
Although these HFCs do not directly harm the ozone layer, they nevertheless contribute to the issue of global warming, and the Montreal Protocol was modified in response to this to also target the reduction of these HFCs, whose consumption appears to have decreased over time.
By the year 2100, it is expected that we will have averted 0.3 to 0.5 degrees Celsius (0.54 to 0.9 degrees Fahrenheit) of warming if we continue on our current course.
"Fantastic news: according to the most recent quadrennial report, ozone recovery is on schedule. It is impossible to overstate the effect the Montreal Protocol has had on reducing climate change "Meg Seki, the Executive Secretary of the Ozone Secretariat of the UN Environment Program, said.
The Protocol "has developed into a great champion for the environment over the past 35 years."
The Globe Meteorological Organization's Secretary-General, Professor Petteri Taalas, underlined that these encouraging results should serve as motivation for the rest of the world to continue pursuing favorable environmental outcomes.
"Action on ozone creates a precedent for climate change. Our accomplishment in eliminating ozone-depleting substances demonstrates what must be done urgently to move away from fossil fuels, cut greenhouse gas emissions, and thereby prevent a rise in global temperatures "added he.