Nearly thirty years after an international treaty banned the use of chlorofluorocarbons, the Antarctic ozone hole is finally starting to heal. By mid to late century, it should be fully recovered.
The British Antarctic Survey scientist Joe Farman, who helped identify the hole in the ozone layer over the southern pole, has died. Dr Farman who was also a scientific officer at the Falkland Islands Dependency Survey, published the discovery with Brian Gardiner and Jon Shanklin in the Journal Nature in 1985.
The average area covered by the Antarctic ozone hole this year was the second smallest in the last 20 years, according to data from NASA and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) satellites. Scientists attribute the change to warmer temperatures in the Antarctic lower stratosphere.
An international agreement to phase out chemicals which attack the Earth’s vital ozone shield celebrates its 25th anniversary as a showcase for successful global environmental cooperation, “protecting our atmosphere for generations to come.”