The Ozone hole is healing

Satellite data shows that the ozone hole in the atmosphere over Antarctica is slowly healing. The data comes from NASA´s Earth-orbiting Aura satellite. It indicates that a depletion rate of the protective ozone layer that was 20% lower in winter 2016 than it was in 2005. Scientists hope that the hole will be gone between 2060 and 2080.

Scientists say the change is due to a series of international regulations on CFCs (Chlorofluorocarbons) that were adopted in 1987. CFC are manmade chemicals that is known to promote the breakdown of ozone molecules and that was once found in refrigerants, aerosol spray, solvents and other products. Ozone blocks ultraviolet light from the sun, which poses a serious health threat and can cause skin cancer. Furthermore, it can also affect the crop yields.

This development is a small victory and a first step in the right direction but it is important that all the nations of the world continue to abide the law that bans CFC production. The healing process will continue slowly as CFC are long-lived molecules and it will take some time until they are completely gone. The closing of the hole also reminds people that it pays off to work together and shows us what can be achieved through joint efforts.

slowly (ˈsləʊli) – langsam

to heal (hi:l) – heilen, verheilen

to orbit (ˈɔ:bɪt) – umkreisen, kreisen

to indicate (ˈɪndɪkt) – etw zeigen, auf etw hindeuten, signalisieren

depletion (dɪˈpli:ʃən) – der Abbau, Erschöpfung

protective (prəˈtektɪv) – schützend

layer (ˈləʳ) – die Schicht

regulation (ˌregjəˈlʃən) – die Vorschrift, Bestimmung

refrigerant (rɪˈfrɪʤərənt) – das Kühlmittel

aerosol spray (ˈrəsɒlspr) – das Aerosolspray, die Sprühdose

solvent (ˈsɒlvənt) – das Lösungsmittel

to pose (pəʊz) – etw darstellen

health threat (helθ θret) – die gesundheitliche Bedrohung

skin cancer (skɪn ˈkæn(t)səʳ) – der Hautkrebs

crop yield (krɒp ji:ld) – der Ernteertrag

to abide (əˈbd) – etw befolgen, sich an etw halten

to remind (rɪˈmnd) – jdn erinnern

to pay off (p ɒf) – sich auszahlen, lohnen

to achieve (əˈi:v) – etw erreichen, ausrichten

joint (ʤɔɪnt) – gemeinsam