The ozone's recovery may have been overstated, report warns

Protective ozone layer is recovering but not over populated areas

The study was published online Tuesday in the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, under the titled "Evidence for a continuous decline in lower stratospheric ozone offsetting ozone layer recovery". The cause is now unknown, reports. Or, it could be a result of climate change, which has been exacerbated by human activity, and the changes it is causing to atmospheric circulation. They found that from 1998 to 2016, ozone in the lower stratosphere ebbed by 2.2 Dobson units-a measure of ozone thickness-even as concentrations in the upper stratosphere rose by about 0.8 Dobson units.

The ozone layer protects the Earth from hazardous ultraviolet radiation from the sun that can damage DNA and heighten the risk of cancer and other health problems, the newspaper noted.

Scientists had thought that VSLSs would not persist long enough in the atmosphere to reach the stratosphere and affect ozone.

The hole in the ozone at the end of the Antarctic winter of 2017 was the smallest its been since the 80s.

Researchers conducted an analysis on 11 different locations and gathered information which helped them create a subtle model of the ozone throughout the last 30 years.

Ball and others emphasize that the Montreal Protocol has still been a success.

Contrary to recent scientific assumptions, the ozone layer, which protects life on the Earth from harmful ultra-violet radiation, continues to deplete on a global scale even after decades of efforts to protect it, according to an worldwide study on Tuesday.

Co-Author of the study, Professor Joanna Haigh, Co-Director of the Grantham Institute for Climate Change and the Environment at Imperial College London informed that Ozone has been seriously declining globally since the 1980s. "The decreases in ozone are less than we saw at the poles before the Montreal Protocol was enacted, but UV radiation is more intense in these regions".

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The study is an example of the concerted worldwide effort to monitor and understand what is happening with the ozone layer.

Ball and his colleagues suspect that the culprit is "very short-lived substances" (VSLSs): ozone-eating chemicals such as dichloromethane that break down within 6 months after escaping into the atmosphere.

The chemicals that are used as solvents, including paint strippers and degreasing agents could be the reason behind Earth's ozone shield depleting.

'Very short-lived substances could be the missing factor in these models'.

Today's publication combines the datasets of multiple global teams, connecting information from various satellite missions since 1985.

Dr Ball said: "The study is an example of the concerted global effort to monitor and understand what is happening with the ozone layer; many people and organisations prepared the underlying data, without which the analysis would not have been possible". Although previous studies had suggested a decline in lower stratospheric ozone, no one had combined satellite data to look at what was happening across such a wide swath of the globe and so far down in the ozone layer.

Researchers have said that, overall, the total amount of ozone in the stratosphere has not improved since the 1990s, with rises at higher altitudes in Antarctica offset by falls elsewhere, but the causes for this are unclear.

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