Protecting the ozone layer saved the planet from "scorched earth" - science

Protecting the ozone layer saved the planet from “scorched earth” – science

Protecting the ozone layer has avoided a doomsday scenario. A new study shows that if the international community did not agree to work together to protect the ozone layer in the late 1980s, the Earth would warm much faster than it does now.

Remember how the hole in the ozone layer was the most pressing environmental and climate problem in the late 1980s and early 1990s?

In 1987, 196 countries and the European Union signed the Montreal Protocol. That landmark environmental treaty ensured the phase-out of so-called chlorofluorocarbons (halogenated hydrocarbons) and other chemicals, which attack the protective layer around the Earth.

Scientists have now investigated its effect. Who is this New study He explains that the current climate crisis would have been much more serious without that treaty. An international team of researchers has developed a model that shows what would have happened if we hadn’t banned these ozone-depleting substances.

photosynthesis failure

If the use of CFCs continued to rise, the ozone layer would have collapsed by 2040. That is the conclusion of the model. Since this layer in the stratosphere blocks the most harmful radiation from the sun, this exposure can lead to unfiltered UV rays.

That would lead to a “scorched earth” condition, the researchers said. Before you imagine a real fireball: “scorched earth” refers to a military tactic to destroy all crops so that they do not fall into the hands of the enemy.

In addition to harm to human health, including diseases such as skin cancer, it is likely that plants’ growth, and thus their ability to absorb carbon, have been affected.

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Researchers estimate that by 2100, trees, grasses, and other plants may absorb a total of 580 billion tons less carbon dioxide, making the concentration in the atmosphere 40 to 50 percent higher than it is today. More greenhouse gases in the air means higher temperatures.

In addition, CFCs in the atmosphere also enhance the greenhouse effect. Combined with the extra carbon dioxide from “burnt vegetation,” this could have caused a global temperature increase of 2.5°C by 2100, on top of the global warming we’re already heading into.

illegal discharges

The new study concludes that the Montreal Protocol has mitigated global warming. Since the signing, the ozone layer has been steadily recovering. It is estimated that it will return to a healthy level by 2060.

Researchers are already warning that the international community must continue to enforce the treaty. For example, in 2018 illegal discharges of CFCs detected in the atmosphere. It turns out that they are from an industrial area In China, which nevertheless signed the protocol.

Remember how the hole in the ozone layer was the most pressing environmental and climate problem in the late 1980s and early 1990s? In 1987, 196 countries and the European Union signed the Montreal Protocol. That historic environmental treaty guaranteed the phase-out of so-called chlorofluorocarbons (halogenated hydrocarbons) and other chemicals, which attack the protective layer around the Earth, and scientists have now investigated their effect. This new study shows that the current climate crisis would have been much more serious without the treaty. An international team of researchers has developed a model that shows what would have happened if we hadn’t banned these ozone-depleting substances. If CFC use continued to rise, the ozone layer would have collapsed by 2040. That is the conclusion from the model. This layer in the stratosphere blocks the most harmful radiation from the sun, and this exposure to the massive unfiltered ultraviolet rays would have resulted in a “scorched earth” state, the researchers said. Before you imagine a real fireball: “scorched earth” refers to a military tactic in which all crops are destroyed so that they do not fall into the hands of the enemy, as well as damage to human health, including diseases such as skin cancer, plant growth is likely has affected, and thus their ability to absorb carbon. Researchers estimate that by the year 2100, trees, grasses, and other plants would have absorbed a total of 580 billion tons less carbon dioxide, reducing the concentration in the atmosphere by 40 to 50 percent higher than it is right Now. More greenhouse gases in the air means higher temperatures plus CFCs in the atmosphere are enhancing the greenhouse effect. Combined with the extra carbon dioxide from “burned vegetation,” this could have caused a global temperature increase of 2.5°C by 2100, on top of the global warming we’re already heading into. The new study concludes that the Montreal Protocol reduced global warming. Since the signing, the ozone layer has been steadily recovering. It is estimated that it will return to a healthy level by 2060. However, researchers warn that the international community must continue to enforce the treaty. For example, illegal releases of CFCs into the atmosphere were detected in 2018. It turns out that these come from an industrial zone in China, which nevertheless signed the protocol.

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