Today, September 16th, is the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer.
What’s the Ozone Layer?
Simply put, the ozone layer is a part of the atmosphere that absorbs the harmful ultraviolet light from the sun. Scientists believe that it played a very important role in the development of life on Earth.
The amount of ozone varies during the year, however over the course of several decades, human activity has caused it to decrease continuously. We now have what’s known as Ozone holes, regions around the planet with a significant decreased amount of coverage, the largest one being over Antarctica between September and November.
The Ozone decrease is caused by OD’s (ozone depleting gases) that is used in aerosols, refrigerators, air conditioners, etc.
In 2020, we celebrate 35 years of the Vienna convention and the Ozone layer protection. The harm that human activity does to it was discovered in the 1970’s, when scientists raised the alarm. In 1985, the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone layer was adopted. Under the Convention’s Montreal protocol, scientists and governments worked together to cut 99% of the Ozone depleting substances.
Thanks to these actions, the ozone layer is healing and expected to return to Pre-1980 status by the mid century.
Today, this achievement is celebrated.
How’s your Ozone layer knowledge? You can take a quiz here and find out