SYLLABUS SECTION: GS III (ENVIRONMENT AND ECOLOGY)
WHY IN THE NEWS?
Recently, scientists revealed a large, all-season ozone hole in the lower stratosphere over the tropics,
Comparable in depth to that of the well-known springtime Antarctic hole, but roughly seven times greater in area.
- All-season ozone hole is define as an area of ozone loss larger than 25% compare with the undisturb atmosphere.
- Ozone (O3) layer is a high ozone concentration region in the stratosphere, protecting life on earth by absorbing harmful ultraviolet radiations from the sun.
- Thinning of the ozone layer was confirmed in 1985 through the formation of the ozone hole over the Antarctic during the Southern Hemisphere spring.
- Release of certain chemicals e.g., chlorine and bromine, chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), halons, and carbon tetrachloride.
INITIATIVES TO PROTECT OZONE LAYER
- Vienna Convention on Protection of Ozone Layer 1985:
- The Convention aimed to promote cooperation among nations by exchanging information on the effects of human activities on the ozone layer.
- The Montreal Protocol, 1987:
- The Montreal Protocol is an international treaty designed to protect the ozone layer by phasing out the production of numerous substances that are responsible for ozone depletion.
- The Kigali Agreement (adopted in 2016 and entered into force in 2019), provided a path to achieve an 80% reduction in HFCs (not ozone-depleting but have high global warming potential) consumption by 2047
IMPACT OF OZONE LAYER DEPLETION
- Increases ground-level UV radiation,
- Increasing the risk of skin cancer and cataracts in humans,
- Weakening human immune systems,
- Decrease agricultural productivity
- Affects terrestrial and aquatic biogeochemical cycles.
Read more: UPSC CURRENT AFFAIRS
SOURCE: BUSINESS STANDARD