EcoTrack 11: Ozone layer responds to lack of CFCs in atmosphere

By Tara Hastings - bio | email

Posted by Kate Oatis - email

TOLEDO (WTOL) - Have you ever thought of what would happen if the ozone layer weren't there to protect us from the sun?

Probably doesn't take that much imagination; the ozone layer acts as a shield, protecting us from harmful ultra-violet radiation.

Luckily for us, back in the 1970's scientists determined cholorofloral carbons -- or CFCs -- found in hairspray and other aerosols were destroying the earth's ozone.

In response, "... the nations of the world got together and determined CFC production had to be stopped -- and by 1992 CFC production was stopped," said Dr. Paul Newman, NASA scientist. The world did that by way of a treaty called the Montreal Protocol.

NASA has amazing images showing what would've happened if CFCs were not regulated. The image on the left (See the video) shows a red area which is ozone and notice on the right there is no red meaning little ozone.

Clearly, the work the world has done to stem the production of harmful CFCs has had a positive effect on the atmosphere.

"By 2065, CFCs would've been 40 times more, the ozone layer would have decreased by two thirds," without the regulation, Newman said.

Because CFCs have a lifetime of 40 to 100 years, there is still a small hole in the ozone but scientists predict it will be gone by 2070, which means we can still enjoy soaking up some rays at the beach.

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