Jan 12, 2023
Today we will discuss Ozone Layer On Track For Recovery in our today's edition of Current Affairs. Read further to upgrade your UPSC CSE knowledge and also understand the topic’s relevance to the UPSC syllabus.
For Prelims: General issues on Environmental Ecology, Biodiversity, and Climate Change
Ozone Layer, Ozone recovery, Montreal Protocol, Ozone Depleting Substances or ODSs, greenhouse gas
For Mains: GS Paper III - Conservation, Environmental Pollution and Degradation
About the Highlights of the report on Ozone recovery, The Montreal Protocol, About the ozone layer, Depletion of the ozone layer, Reason for the recovery of the ozone layer.
Recently an UN-backed scientific panel has reported that the ozone ‘hole’ is now expected to be completely repaired by 2066.
What do you understand by depletion of ozone layer and why is it considered harmful ? Name ozone depleting substances and processes. What international conventions took place to protect the ozone layer and what was the target agreed upon? (150 words, 10 marks)
All these findings are reported in an UN-backed scientific panel’s report titled ‘Scientific Assessment of Ozone Depletion 2022’:
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Vienna Convention for the Protection of Ozone Layer (1985)
The Vienna Convention, concluded in 1985, is a framework agreement in which States agree to cooperate in relevant research and scientific assessments of the ozone problem, to exchange information, and to adopt “appropriate measures” to prevent activities that harm the ozone layer.
The Montreal Protocol (1987)
The Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer is the landmark multilateral environmental agreement that regulates the production and consumption of ozone depleting substances (ODS).
It was adopted on 16 September 1987, the Protocol is to date one of the rare treaties to achieve universal ratification.
The Montreal Protocol phases down the consumption and production of the different ODS in a step-wise manner, with different timetables for developed and developing countries (referred to as “Article 5 countries”).
The Meeting of the Parties is the governance body for the treaty, with technical support provided by an Open-ended Working Group, both of which meet on an annual basis.
The Parties are assisted by the Ozone Secretariat, which is based at UN Environment Programme headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya.
The Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol seeks to eliminate 80-90% of the HFCs currently in use by the year 2050. This is expected to prevent another 0.3 to 0.5 degrees Celsius of global warming by the turn of the century.
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News Source: The Indian Express
Ans. In the early 1980s, scientists using ground-based and satellite measurements began to realize that the Earth’s natural sunscreen was thinning dramatically over the South Pole each spring.
This thinning of the ozone layer over Antarctica came to be known as the ozone hole.
Scientists had figured out that the chief cause of ozone depletion was the use of a class of industrial chemicals that contained chlorine, bromine, or fluorine.
Ans. The ozone hole has been steadily improving since 2000, thanks to the effective implementation of the Montreal Protocol that eliminated some harmful industrial chemicals, together referred to as Ozone Depleting Substances or ODSs.
Ans. The stratospheric ozone layer protects life on Earth by absorbing ultraviolet light, which damages DNA in plants and animals (including humans) and leads to sunburns and skin cancer.
Thus increasing ozone holes are causing all these issues.
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