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Friday, January 27, 2023

UN: Ozone layer is on track to recover

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This was pointed out by a panel of experts appointed by the UN on Monday at the annual meeting of the American Meteorological Society in Denver. The decision to phase out many ozone-depleting substances also benefits climate protection.

If current trajectories are maintained, the ozone layer should recover to 1980 levels by about 2066 in Antarctica, 2045 in the Arctic, and 2040 in the rest of the world—that was before the ozone hole formed. In 1987, the UN agreed in the Montreal Protocol to end chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) because they damage the ozone layer. This layer in the Earth’s atmosphere protects the Earth from the sun’s ultraviolet radiation.

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The additional end agreed by the United Nations in 2016 for certain chemical refrigerants, the hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), could reduce global warming by 0.3 to 0.5 degrees by 2100, the experts write. Trifluoromethane was not included in the calculation. HFCs are used in refrigerators, for example, and sometimes also in heat pumps or air conditioning systems. For some time, the gases were considered an alternative to CFCs.

Although HFCs do not attack the ozone layer, they are significantly more harmful to the climate than CO2, for example. In an extension of the Montreal Convention, the agreement to phase out the use of HFCs followed in 2016.

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