Asian News InternationalJanuary 22, 2020 13:32:06
A growing hole in Earth's stratospheric ozone was first published in a scientific article in 1985. Scientists have determined that the cause is substances that deplete the ozone layer – long-lasting artificial halogen compounds.
The study was published in the journal Nature's climate change.
Columbia University researchers examined the effects of greenhouse warming on ozone-depleting substances and found that they caused about a third of all global warming from 1955 to 2005, and half of Arctic warming and ice loss from the during that period.
They, therefore, acted as a strong complement to carbon dioxide, the most widespread greenhouse gas; since then, its effects have started to disappear, as they are no longer produced and dissolve slowly.
Ozone-depleting substances or ODS were developed in the 1920s and 1930s and have become popularly used as refrigerants, solvents and propellants. They are entirely man-made and therefore did not exist in the atmosphere before that period. In the 1980s, a hole in the Earth's stratospheric ozone layer, which filters out much of the sun's harmful ultraviolet radiation, was discovered in Antarctica. Scientists quickly attributed it to the SDG.
The world took action, finalizing a global agreement to phase out the SDG. The Montreal Protocol, as it is called, was signed in 1987 and came into force in 1989. Due to the rapid international reaction, the atmospheric concentrations of most SDGs peaked in the late 20th century and have been decreasing ever since. However, for at least 50 years, the climate impacts of the SDG have been extensive, as the new study reveals.
Scientists at Columbia's School of Engineering and Applied Science and the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory used climate models to understand the effects of ODS on Arctic climate. According to Michael Previdi, a researcher at Lamont-Doherty, "we show that the SDG has affected the Arctic climate in a substantial way."
The scientists came to a conclusion using two very different climate models, widely used by the scientific community, both developed at the US National Center for Atmospheric Research.
The results highlight the importance of the Montreal Protocol, which was signed by almost 200 countries, say the authors.
According to Lorenzo Polvani, lead author of the study and professor at the Department of Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics in Colombia, "climate mitigation is at work as we speak, because these substances are decreasing in the atmosphere, thanks to the Montreal Protocol, in the coming years." decades, they will contribute less and less to global warming. That's good news.
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