After years of damage, the ozone layer is starting to heal


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The ozone layer, after decades of thinning out, may be recovering in some areas (stock)

Natalia Welzenbach-Marcu | November 6th, 2018

The ozone layer slowly thinning and dissipating was, for a while, a tight focus in news stories about the environment–and this protective layer in our stratosphere remains an important part of our overall environmental protection.

Ozone is a molecule with three oxygen atoms, and the ozone layer’s stability is determined by the amount of molecules existing at any given time. This layer absorbs some of the radiation from the sun–UVB, specifically–and helps keep the levels of UVB on Earth at a manageable level, as these rays are the perpetrators behind many skin cancers.

Ozone depletion has been linked to the heavy use of chlorofluorocarbons, or CFOs, which are primarily used in aerosol sprays. In the 1970s, a hole in the ozone layer was discovered over Antarctica, launching the world into a frenzy over global warming.

While the ozone layer seems to continue thinning over populated areas, over places like the North and South pole the stratosphere may make a full recovery by the mid-2030s. 

 

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