In the midst of all our worry about global warming, we seem to have forgotten about the ozone hole. Now there's good news that shows how the right response CAN make a difference: The ozone hole over Antarctica may close within 50 years, because the level of ozone-depleting CFCs in the atmosphere is declining.
Australian researcher Paul Fraser, who monitors CFCs from the island of Tasmania, says, "The major culprit in the production of the ozone hole is CFCs and they have started to decline in the lower atmosphere. We think the ozone hole will recover by about 2050." Ozone-depleting gases in the upper atmosphere were at their peak in 2000, but have been declining since then. It takes around 11 years for changes in CFC emissions to be reflected in the ozone layer.
The ozone layer shields the earth from harmful ultraviolet radiation from the sun, as well as lethal UV-C radiation. Too much exposure to this radiation can cause skin cancer and also weakens the immune system. CFCs have been used in refrigerators, and air conditioners since the 1930s. In China, they?re widely used in fire extinguishers.
Under the 1987 Montreal Protocol, developing countries committed themselves to cutting their consumption and production of CFCs in half by 2005 and to achieving an 85% cut by 2007. Fraser says, "We are now at a point where the atmosphere can actually remove CFCs faster than they are being released into the atmosphere."
It?s wonderful to read news about humans working together to restore, rather than destroy, our environment. When we drive on highways filled with greenhouse-gas-emitting SUVs, we should remember that we can eventually solve our global warming problems as well.
How can we do it? Find out by reading ?The Coming Global Superstorm,? now only $9.95 for a hardcover signed by Whitley,click here and scroll down.
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