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Are We Heading to Ozone Meltdown? World Ozone Day 2020

- By Dwaipayan, 11 September 2020 | 5 MIN READ


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Did you ever feel the strange smell in the air after a thunderstorm? Well, that’s Ozone, a form of oxygen that is different from what we’re breathing now. The ozone layer, a delicate shield of gas that protects the Earth from the damaging UV and other toxic rays of the sun, thus helping preserve life on Earth.

The 16th of September every year is World Ozone Day

The Theme and tagline 2020: OZONE FOR LIFE - 35 YEARS OF OZONE LAYER PROTECTION

The controlled uses of ozone-depleting substances have helped to sustain the environment and protect future generations. Global efforts have significantly contributed to addressing climate change.

We all know that life on Earth would not be possible without sunlight. But the energy emanating from the sun would be too much for life on Earth to flourish if there was no ozone layer.

Scientists working since the late 1970s led to the disclosure that mankind was creating a hole in this protective shield. The culprit of the hole was ozone-depleting gases (ODSs) - Gasses used in aerosols and cooling, such as refrigerators and air-conditioners – was threatening to more cases of skin cancer and cataracts and damage the ecosystems.

The year 1985 was a significant one, the Vienna Convention was adopted for the Protection of the Ozone Layer. It is under the Convention’s Montreal Protocol, governments, scientists, and industry have come together to reduce 99 percent of all ozone-causing substances.

World Ozone Day, held on September 16 every year, shows a collective initiative guided by science, which can only solve major global crises.

Background

Several commonly used chemicals were discovered to be extremely damaging to the ozone layer. Halocarbons are chemicals in which one or more carbon atoms are linked to one or more halogen atoms (fluorine, chlorine, bromine, or iodine). Halocarbons containing bromine usually have much higher ozone-depleting potential containing chlorine. The man-produced chemicals of chlorine and bromine for ozone depletion are methyl bromide, methyl chloroform, popularly known as (CFCs) were extremely damaging the atmosphere.

The Vienna Convention

The scientific evidence of the depletion of the ozone layer alerted the international community to take action to protect the ozone layer. This prompted the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer. 28 countries adopted and signed an accord on 22 March 1985. In September 1987, the first drafting took place of The Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer.

Montreal Protocol

The principal aim of the Montreal Protocol is to protect the ozone layer by taking measures to control total global production and consumption of substances that deplete the ozone layer. The implementation of the Montreal Protocol progressed well in developed and developing countries to accelerate the HCFC phase-out schedule.

Universal ratification

On the very day of 16th September 2009, the Vienna Convention and the Montreal Protocol became the first treaties in the history of the UN to achieve universal ratification.

 

Climate Change due to various consequences is the defining issue of our time and we are at a defining moment. Everything from shifting weather patterns that threaten food production, to rising sea levels that increase the risk of catastrophic flooding, the impacts of climate change are global in scope and unprecedented in scale. Without drastic action today, adapting to these impacts in the future will be more difficult and costly. Ozone depletion is one of the major concerns that we’re facing as a global challenge, let’s make the world a better place for us and our future generations.

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