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Ozone Layer Update; Not Recovering As Expected For Unknown Reasons

Ozone Layer.TheDigitalArtist/Pixabay

In the late 90s, the issue regarding the hole in the ozone layer was big in the public consciousness, but it quickly faded in light of a new gigantic threat in the form of climate change. In recent years, scientists have begun to hope that the hole was finally healing itself thanks to some encouraging signs. According to a new study, however, the ozone layer doesn’t appear to be recovering as well as expected and the researchers are not sure why.

The study was published in Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, a journal by the European Geosciences Union. According to the findings, recovery is actually in decline in certain parts of the world. Even more worrying is the fact that these are areas where people live.

“We find that, even though upper stratospheric ozone is recovering, the continuing downward trend in the lower stratosphere prevails, resulting in a downward trend in stratospheric column ozone between 60° S and 60° N. We find that total column ozone between 60° S and 60° N appears not to have decreased only because of increases in tropospheric column ozone that compensate for the stratospheric decreases. The reasons for the continued reduction of lower stratospheric ozone are not clear; models do not reproduce these trends, and thus the causes now urgently need to be established,” the paper reads.

Translation: the problem is getting worse and the root cause really needs to be determined right now or else.

Speaking to Futurism, the study’s lead, atmospheric physicist William Bell explained that the damage was actually lower than it was 20 years ago. However, the recovery rate simply isn’t going as well as scientists had initially hoped. The fact that the reason for the decline is unknown is quite troubling, as well, because this prevents researchers from posing a possible solution to the problem.

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2018-12-19 14:48:26
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