The Montreal Protocol was signed nearly 30 years ago by all global countries and has now shown to have saved Earth's precious ozone layer.
The Montreal Protocol was established back in 1987 and signed internationally by every global country – even North Korea – after it was found chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) found in aerosols and refrigerators were contributing immensely to the deterioration of the ozone layer.
The protocol collectively banned the use of CFCs in the hope that it would at least stop the hole in the ozone layer getting any bigger.
A recent study has revealed that it has indeed done its job because research has found a part of the ozone layer located over the Antarctic has shrunk by 1.5 million square miles since 2000. Study author Susan Solomon, an MIT professor of atmospheric chemistry and climate science, along with her colleagues found this shrinkage is down to the reduction in chlorine which doesn’t naturally occur in the Earth’s atmosphere. Chlorine was only introduced once CFCs were abundantly used according to a report by The Telegraph.
“A chemically driven increase in polar ozone (or “healing”) is expected in response to this historic agreement. Observations and model calculations taken together indicate that the onset of healing of Antarctic ozone loss has now emerged in September,” Solomon said.
NASA made an analysis back in 2009 that predicted what would have happened to the ozone layer if the Montreal Protocol hadn’t been established and agreed upon. The results were stark showing 17 percent of the whole ozone completely disappearing by 2020. If this was the case, people living in the middle latitude areas would have suffered sunburn in as little as 5 minutes.
Thanks to the positive coming-together of all global countries nearly 30 years ago, today this is far from reality.
The study was published in the journal Science.