findings at the American Meteorological Society’s annual meeting in January 2023. During the assembly, they applauded global policies to gradually eliminate 99% of banned ozone-depleting substances (ODS).Scientists first discovered the harmful impact that refrigerants, aerosols, and solvents had on the environment in the 1980s. These products contain chlorofluorocarbons, or CFCs, that contribute to ozone layer damage.
When experts first noticed the hole in the ozone, they sounded the alarm about these chemicals.Due to their findings, nations around the globe united in adopting the Montreal Protocol in 1987. It’s the first international treaty in the history of the UN to achieve universal ratification. Considered by many as the most successful environmental action to date, the landmark agreement banned nearly 100 artificial chemicals.Allowing them to remain in production would cause further ozone damage, exposing Earth to more of the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays.
Nearly 40 years later, scientists have observed significant improvements in the ozone layer in the upper stratosphere. Furthermore, since 2000, the Antarctic ozone hole has begun to shrink and thicken, both signs of the Montreal Protocol’s success.According to the UN Environment Program (UNEP), ozone deterioration would have accelerated tenfold by 2050 without the Montreal Protocol. Due to increased UV radiation, this would’ve resulted in millions of additional cases of melanoma, other cancers, and cataracts.