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Good news: the Ozone is apparently healing itself

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David Cornish
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Well July 2016 is off to an absolute stormer. 

Following the international ban of the use of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs - previously used in aerosols), a new study published in Science suggests that the vast hole in the ozone layer over Antarctic is actually healing itself. 

"This is a reminder that when the world gets together, we really can solve environmental problems," Susan Solomon, an atmospheric chemist at MIT, told Gizmodo. "I think we should all congratulate ourselves on a job well done."

Every year around late August, a hole opens up in the ozone layer over the Antarctic, exposing it to harmful levels of UV. Scientists have long known that CFCs can get up to all sorts of unwanted mischief if they manage to bleed into the Earth's protective ozone layer - Solomon's research group were particularly interested to establish what sort of progress had been made since the ban of CFCs.  

The researchers were able to identify that the ban of CFCs had made a huge impact on the reduction of the ozone hole by comparing its fluctuations in size during a year that had seen a large number of volcanic eruptions - a natural event that also releases aerosols into the ozone.

Solomon and her team noticed that, indeed, the volcanic eruptions were linked to the hole in the ozone increasing to its biggest ever size in October 2015 - but that a trend had emerged showing the hole was shrinking year on year - a reduction of 4.5 million square kilometers since 2000. "We don't expect to see a complete recovery until about 2050 or 2060 but we are starting to see that in September the ozone hole is not as bad as it used to be," Solomon told the BBC.

The recovery is set to continue - so long as we don't ruin it with any reversals on CFC laws, or start pumping something else horrible into the air. Keep it up everyone.

Now we just have to sort out climate change...

[Via: Gizmodo/BBC]

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David Cornish

Shortlist.com’s esteemed Tech Editor. David has a keen interest in video games, Star Wars and stuff that runs on batteries.

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