The ozone layer is on track to fully repair itself in 50 years, a new Union Nations report says, and that is good news for your health.
The organization announced that since 2000, the ozone layer has slowly repaired itself at a rate of 1 to 3 percent per decade and is on course for a full return by 2060. The United Nations credited the 1987 Montreal Protocol — a global agreement to ban certain ozone-depleting chemicals in aerosols and cooling systems — with fostering the ozone’s encouraging growth.
So, why should you care about the ozone?
As explained by National Geographic, the ozone layer filters out harmful Ultraviolet rays that could have otherwise reached an “extreme” level in certain parts of the United States and beyond if it kept deteriorating.
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Report co-chairman Paul Newman told CNBC that without the Montreal Protocol, it was expected that by 2065 around two-thirds of the ozone layer would have disappeared.
Also, another 280 million people would have gotten skin cancer by the end of the century, resulting in 1.6 million deaths, if the ozone layer kept fading away, according to U.S. Department of State. Another 45 million would likely have gotten cataracts because of the UV rays, it estimated.
Rolando Garcia, a senior scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, told National Geographic that it would have been possible for skin to “literally” burn in just five minutes if an agreement hadn’t been met about the ozone layer.
This new United Nations report shows “we’re at the turnaround point” to restore the ozone layer, NASA scientist Paul Newman told Gizmodo. It’s a big deal since 10 percent of the upper ozone layer was gone in the 1990s, Newman told CNBC.
“It’s really good news,” Newman said, according to CNBC. “If ozone-depleting substances had continued to increase, we would have seen huge effects. We stopped that.”