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 (ˈɪndɪkeɪt) – etw zeigen, auf etw hindeuten, signalisieren
depletion (dɪˈpli:ʃən) – der Abbau, Erschöpfung
protective (prəˈtektɪv) – schützend
layer (ˈleɪəʳ) – die Schicht
regulation (ˌregjəˈleɪʃən) – die Vorschrift, Bestimmung
refrigerant (rɪˈfrɪʤərənt) – das Kühlmittel
aerosol spray (ˈeərəsɒlspreɪ) – 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 (əˈbaɪd) – etw befolgen, sich an etw halten
to remind (rɪˈmaɪnd) – jdn erinnern
to pay off (peɪ ɒf) – sich auszahlen, lohnen
to achieve (əˈtʃi:v) – etw erreichen, ausrichten
joint (ʤɔɪnt) – gemeinsam