By Christine Cole (*) - Plastic pollution in the oceans is a major problem that is finally getting the attention it deserves, thanks to Blue Plan II. It makes headline news almost every week – and famous figures such as the Pope, Prince Charles, Dame Ellen MacArthur and Sir David Attenborough have all joined the debate.
Scientists have shown through direct satellite observations of the ozone hole that levels of ozone-destroying chlorine are declining. Measurements show that the decline in chlorine, resulting from an international ban on chlorine-containing man-made chemicals called chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), has resulted in about 20% less ozone depletion during the Antarctic winter than there was in 2005, the first year that measurements of chlorine and ozone during the Antarctic winter were made by NASA's Aura satellite.
Australia experienced its third-warmest year on record in 2017, according to the nation's Bureau of Meteorology. The national mean temperature of 22.75C was almost 1C higher than a 1961-1990 baseline, its annual report revealed. Only 2005 and 2013 were warmer, based on records kept for about a century.