Zone on Ozone

Our species is the cause of the woe,
That makes the ozone layer go.
We use CFCs & aerosols,
That break ozone molecules,
And let the UV radiation flow.

The ozone layer in the stratosphere protects life on Earth from harmful UV radiation. The extent of ozone depletion is measured by the total column ozone, which is the amount of ozone in a vertical column of air from the surface to the top of the atmosphere. The global average was 300 DU (Dobson Units) in the early 20th century, before significant human influence skewed the numbers.

The bad news? According to Scientific Assessment of Ozone Depletion, the global average total column ozone declined by 2.5% from 1980 to 2018; it fell to a low of 283 DU in 1993. The Antarctic ozone hole reached a record low of 29.9 million sq km in Sept 2006; the Arctic ozone hole was 11.5 million sq km in March 2011.

The good news? The ozone layer could heal by 2050 if regulators comply with the 1987 Montreal Protocol, which seeks to phase out global emissions of ODS (ozone depletion substances). The global average total column ozone has risen by 1-3% per decade since 2000 & the Antarctic and Arctic ozone holes have started to shrink. In 2019, NASA reported that the ozone hole was the smallest ever since it was first discovered in 1982.

Why bother? September 16 is the UN International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer. It’s time for us to take BEST (biodiversity, environment, sustainability, & tropical forests preservation) seriously or face the doom of our planet & all its lifeforms.