More protection: UN says Earth's ozone layer is healing

School children hold umbrellas during an awareness campaign to protect the ozone layer as part of the International Ozone Day

"This year's colder temperatures would have given us a much larger ozone hole if chlorine was still at levels we saw back in the year 2000". Northern Hemisphere and mid-latitude ozone damage is set to be repaired by the 2030s. Case in point: The ozone hole, which if everything goes according to plan could be healed up by the 2060s, according to a new report from the United Nations.According to the report, a decades-old worldwide treaty to ban ozone-depleting chemicals has led to their decline and "much more severe ozone depletion in the polar regions has been avoided".

The ozone layer appears to be healing itself, after years of depletion due to harsh man-made chemicals. That path includes heeding warnings from scientists, understanding - not downplaying - the risks and, most important, taking action.

Earth's protective ozone layer protects us from ultraviolet rays which cause skin cancer, crop damage and other problems. The reason: industries and individuals have been discontinuing the use of aerosols and refrigerants such as freon.

The measures taken to fix the damage will also have an important beneficial effect on climate change, as some of the gasses that caused the ozone layer to thin and in places disappear also contribute to warming the atmosphere.

Pablo Campana, minister of Production, Foreign Trade and Investment, stated at the opening ceremony that 'being the venue of the Meeting of the Parties shows our country's compliance with the Montreal Protocol, and this is an ideal formu to spread the commitment by the national government to the industrial and sustainable development. Despite uncertainties around the science, which were exploited by industry to derail regulations, Republican President Ronald Reagan signed the agreement, calling it "a model of cooperation" and "a product of the recognition and worldwide consensus that ozone depletion is a global problem". The warming effect in the lower atmosphere associated with increased greenhouse gases also leads to cooling in the stratosphere, which sits about 6-12 miles above the planet's surface. Almost every country in the world has signed on to the Paris climate accord, an global agreement to lower emissions of greenhouse gases, which trap heat in the atmosphere. He has argued that climate change is a hoax by the Chinese to harm USA businesses. U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres calls it "a pivotal time for climate action".

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Indeed, this good news amidst global turmoil in environmental degradation is more than simply encouraging. Thanks to this action, ozone levels have been on the rise since the mid-1990s.

We'll need to wait a few decades before raising the "Mission Accomplished" banner.

What is clear is that action is needed. The calculus is simple - we can pay now in the form of investments in cleaner technologies and fuels - or pay later in deaths, upheaval and violence.

Now, the latest report put out by a United Nations panel suggests that the ozone hole could patch up in the 2060s, if all goes to plan. Knowing it'll take unprecedented levels of social change to combat global warming, the report even provides a glimmer of hope.

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