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- 27 minutes ago
Happy International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer
The ozone layer is a region of Earth's stratosphere that absorbs most of the Sun's ultraviolet radiation. It contains a high concentration of ozone (O3). CFCs weaken the ozone layer enough to cause a significant increase in skin cancer. It is, then as now, not the case that politicians react immediately to a research study. In 1975 Joe Farman measured 20 percent less ozone in the Antarctic, in 1979 even less and in 1982 the Japanese Sui Chubachi even less. After all, the NASA satellite Nimbus-7 had been rotating around the world with highly sensitive ozone sensors since 1978 - and has reported nothing remarkable.
Farman and Chubachi did not wanted to challenge the powerful NASA at first. Until the end of 1984, when they published their data in the research magazine NATURE. NASA then rummaged through Nimbus-7's data trash can. Soon they realized that the software was automatically sorting out extreme values. In 1985 NASA confirmed the increased values, but the laboratory alarm was already eleven years old. Shortly thereafter the "ozone hole" shocks the world.
Like today with the greenhouse gas issue, an alliance of doubters and lobbyists was active at the time, and politics was actionless. The Montreal Protocol followed in 1987: CFCs were banned. But the ozone layer healed more slowly than expected. In 2001, 14 years after the protocol, the ozone hole is as large as North America. This shows how long CFCs live and work. But there were also 13 years between the first realization and action - valuable time.
Today, the Montreal Protocol is regarded as a model - "humanity can, if it wants to" - for a rapid reaction to dangerous greenhouse gases. But the comparison is limp: It is easy to dispense ONE substance. But now humans should let go of the fossil fuels and cut the umbilical cord that made our high-energy civilization possible in the first place.
#ozonlayer #ozone #preservetheozonlayer #climatechange #climatechangeisreal #montrealprotocol #CFC #scienceisfun #Sciencecomics #fossilfuels #infographic #scienceillustration #climateactionnow #climatestrike