The Ozone Layer which is deemed to be the protective layer for the existence of life on Earth from deadly ultraviolet radiation is unexpectedly declining above the planet’s most populated regions, according to a study lately. In 1987 treaty, the Montreal Protocol, banned industrial aerosols that chemically dissolved ozone in the high atmosphere, especially above Antarctica. Nearly three decades later, the “ozone hole” over the South Pole and the upper reaches of the Stratosphere are showing clear signs of recovery.
The Stratosphere starts about 10 km (6 miles) above sea level, and is about 40 km thick. At the same time, however, ozone in the lower stratosphere, 10-24 km overhead, is slowly disintegrating, an international team of two dozen researchers warned. Climate change models do suggest that shifts in the way air circulates in the lower stratosphere will eventually affect ozone levels, starting with the zone above the tropics, where the substance forms. But that change was thought to be decades away, and was not expected to reach the middle latitudes between the tropics and the polar regions.
Two possible suspects for this worrying trend stand out, the study concluded. One is a group of chemicals used as solvents, paint strippers and degreasing agents — collectively known as “very short-lived substances,” or VSLSs — that attack ozone in the lower stratosphere.“ If climate change is the cause, it’s a much more serious problem,” said Ball, adding that Scientists disagree as to whether the Stratosphere is already responding in a significant way .
Ball and colleagues encouraged other researchers to duplicate their results, and drive down the level of uncertainty. He said that,“The decreases in ozone are less than we saw at the poles before the Montreal Protocol was enacted, but UV radiation is more intense in these regions and more people live there.” They also called for data-gathering missions — by balloon or airplane — to measure more precisely the level of VSLSs in the upper atmosphere.