The Ozone Layer is Healing

(Est. reading time: 5 minutes)

Yes, you read that correctly.

Thank goodness. This is a feel good story.

In the past, ozone depleting substances (also referred to as ODS) eroded the ozone layer significantly. They weren’t as much of a problem closer to the ground as they weren’t toxic but stable. However, the stable molecules of the substances would rise up to the stratosphere. The problem was at the stratosphere, where the structures became more susceptible to the ultraviolet (U.V) rays of the sun.

As a result, they get separated into their components, which include Chlorine and Bromine. Both eliminate a sizable amount of ozone (by taking an atom from the ozone molecule); in fact, one molecule of chlorine can essentially break apart thousands of molecules of ozone. It’s not a one-time thing either. These molecules can stay in the atmosphere for hundreds of years. Essentially, these molecules from years ago are still up in the atmosphere today.

Some ozone depleting substances include CFCs (Chlorofluorocarbons), which account for more than eighty percent of depletion, halons (found in some fire extinguishers), methyl chloroform (aerosols, adhesives, chemical processing), carbon tetrachloride (solvents and fire extinguishers), and HCFCs (hydrofluorocarbons). Hydrofluorocarbons are regarded as a sort of intermediate. They’re less harmful to stratospheric ozone than CFCs but they’re still strong greenhouse gases and are responsible for ozone depletion.

The Montreal Protocol went into effect January 1, 1989. It was ratified by 197 parties. This was a successful international effort to limit CFC presence in the atmosphere. It was drafted to help protect the ozone layer by limiting, and eventually ceasing the production of several ODS mentioned earlier. The international effort was no small matter, and the industry claimed that it couldn’t/shouldn’t be done, arguing the deep costs of phasing out the chemicals. The effort was a success. A recent study showed that since 2000, the hole above Antarctica has been reduced by around *4 million square kilometers.

In 2014, it was projected that the Ozone layer would fully recover by 2050. It is expected to hit 1980 levels by the middle of the century.

*Volcanic eruptions can cause the number to change.

Fictional Piece below

“What Global Warming?”
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Recent studies show that there has been a decrease in greenhouse gases.

For the first in time in centuries, GCI data illustrates that the greenhouse gases have shown signs of being eliminated from the planet’s atmosphere. The head of the Global Climate Initiative had stated on Wednesday that the advances in energy production and storage, notably for alternative energy sources has significantly affected the future of the planet.

What we have faced up until now, and possibly a few more decades into the future, is the effects of the generations past. The global landscape has evolved monumentally as a result, but we have found ways to adjust, and also eliminate the harmful chemicals that have plagued us for centuries.
– GCI head, Ron Halfire

Among the ways mentioned by Halfire are the production of electrical/clean-fuel vehicles, biodegradable products, and the introduction of plastic consuming microbes.

We should also note the impact of the alternative-energy surge of the late 20’s when researchers at Edderlen Labs successfully developed a way to significantly improve battery storage. Alternative energies, such as solar power, hydroelectric, and wind energy were able to take a stronger foothold in developed nations. The introduction of the Chea-Panels from Energy Un Ltd. also fostered the boom in alternate energy sources.

In the 30’s, the alternate energy sources became ingrained into wearables, as nearly all products on the market became saturated by these new styles. Still, the niche market for handcrafted watches remains timeless, as the sector of that industry experienced a boom in the mid-50’s. When asked about the global exploration missions, and the possibility of a completely original civilization being born onto one of the moons, Halfire responded with optimism. He stated that “The green initiative committee is working overtime with the space agency to produce cleaner, yet more powerful rockets, and propulsion technologies.”

The green initiative committee is working overtime with the space agency to produce cleaner, yet more powerful rockets, and propulsion technologies.

Meanwhile, others have chided the government citing that it has failed to place enough emphasis on worldwide health. While the production of alternate energy sources and storage has indeed contributed to the improvement in living conditions over the past century, hundreds of thousands still pass away from cancer and cardiovascular diseases. Although there are treatment options that help extend the lifespans of the afflicted, nonetheless, there’s been a sort of stagnation in the field. The government had seen climate change as an investment “in the future,” consequently adding more debt and allying with over 160 nations in a global effort. Giff Clifford has gone on record to say that “[we’re] throwing millions around to solve these medical problems, but not enough incentive has been provided by the government to address this sector.”

On the other hand, public opinion has been in favor of the strong focus placed by world leaders. Many took to social media to express their appraisals. The mentality of tackling one problem at a time has been more and more evident in recent years. Supporters of both the GCI and the global policies wrought forth by them can agree to this mantra in resolving issues: “one by one”.

 

 

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