Levels of ozone-damaging CFCs are falling again, assuaging fears that the ozone layer may have temporarily stopped healing!
Two years ago, atmospheric measurements illustrated a dangerous plateau in the level of CFC chemicals that led many to warn that regeneration of the ozone might be under threat…
Now, a new study has found that emissions of a particular CFC (trichlorofluoromethane) are falling a consistent rate with a global ban on CFC production, leading scientists to confirm that the Ozone layer’s healing process is ‘back on track’.
CFCs are a family of chemicals that were once widely used in products like aerosol cans, but in the 1980s, scientists studying global warming concluded that they were contributing to the destruction of the Ozone layer, which absorbs most of the sun’s UV radiation.
CFCs were then banned in 1987 and countries had to phase out their use of CFCs, with the production of the chemicals entirely banned from 2010. However, then in 2018, it was discovered that CFC emission levels weren’t falling as quickly as expected.
This discovery then led to a rush to investigate the source of the increased emissions, and scientists were able to pin the blame on factories in eastern China, who were using CFC-11 in the production of insulation foam.
The ozone’s healing process is long, but scientists are optimistic that it will have recovered to pre-CFC levels in a few decades!