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Once again good environmental news: thanks to worldwide cooperation, the ozone layer heals


Finally, a good message from the environment.

The ozone layer, which protects us from the harmful radiation of the sun, heals slowly United Nations announced Monday.

"That's really good news," said NASA scholar Paul Newman, co-author of the UN report.

In the northern half of the world, the shift was to be completely repaired in the 2030s, the report said. The good news is due to decades of global collaboration to prevent the mining of ozone-depleting chemicals.

"If ozone depleting substances had continued to increase, we would have seen tremendous effects. We stopped it, "Newman said. If nothing had been done against the thinning out, the world would have destroyed two-thirds of its ozone layer by 2065, he said.

The notorious ozone hole over the Antarctic is also recovering, though it will happen every year until the 2060s. (Ozone will take longer to heal in the southern half of the world.)

According to NASA, the ozone layer is located about 7 to 25 miles above the Earth's surface in the stratosphere. It works like sunscreen and protects the planet from ultraviolet radiation that can cause skin cancer and cataracts, suppress the immune system and damage plants.

The naturally occurring ozone in the atmosphere is the so-called "good" ozone and is in contrast to the "bad" ozone near the surface, which is a man-made pollution, which can lead to respiratory problems.

The scientists first discovered the dramatic thinning of the Earth's protective ozone layer in the 1970s and determined the production of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) used in refrigerators and aerosol sprays.

In the late 1980s, 196 countries signed the Montreal Protocol, a contract that restricted the production of CFCs worldwide. Companies soon had safer alternatives for spray cans and refrigerators.

Scientists say that the way humankind tackled the ozone problem is also a blueprint for how we can counteract man-made global warming.

"The Montreal Protocol is one of the most successful multilateral agreements in history," said Erik Solheim, head of the United Nations Environment Program. "The careful blend of authoritarian science and collaborative action that the Protocol has defined for more than 30 years and should cure our ozone layer is precisely why the Kigali Amendment holds such a promise for future climate action," he said a statement.

The Kigali amendment calls for restricting the use of strong global warming gases called hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) in refrigerators, air conditioners and cars.

"Carbon emissions remain by far the most important greenhouse gases
are driving global warming, "said Secretary General of the World Meteorological Organization, Petteri Taalas. However, we can also help combat climate change by reducing our climate change
Commitment to other gases, including HFCs. Every warming is important, "he said.

Contribute: The Associated Press

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