World Day for the Preservation of the ozone layer

World Day for the Preservation of the ozone layer

On September 16 we celebrate the World Day for the Preservation of the ozone layer, this necessary gas that protects all living beings from the sun's ultraviolet radiation and whose presence is a condition sine qua non for the existence of life on Earth.

It is not only a day to know the dangers, advance policies or demand more presence in the media of this problem, but it is also a great day to celebrate that everyone has agreed to fight against a common climate enemy: The hole in the ozone layer.

It was in Montreal, Canada, where for the first (and last time), all countries agreed on an environmental treaty to eliminate chemicals (chlorine and bromine) that were expelled into the atmosphere with certain sprays, fertilizers and chlorofluorocarbon compounds, used as cooling fluid.

In this sense, after more than 30 years, the Montreal Treaty, has served to eliminate 99% of these compounds, and both governments and companies have managed to alleviate the great problem that occurred in the 80s, especially in the southern hemisphere of our planet.

Nowadays the problem has remitted enoughIn fact, there are those who say that it is only a matter of time before the world returns to its levels of the early twentieth century. It is estimated that in the 2030s it will disappear completely in the Northern Hemisphere and it will not be until the 2060s when it does so in the Southern Hemisphere. It is the time it takes for all substances to disappear from the atmosphere, that is why for many it is a problem that has already been solved.

However, nothing is resolved, in fact the current hole in the ozone layer is more than 4 million square kilometers, although at its peak it can reach up to 20 million. The success for the world is that the Northern Hemisphere is free of a hole, that is, most of the "First World" is free of a hole, it is in Antarctica where it is located, enlarging its size when Spring begins in the Southern Hemisphere (September). It is a process that occurs every year and affects all the countries of the Southern Hemisphere, with more incidence in those closest to the Pole. Professor Raul Cordero, climatologist from the University of Santiago de Chile, explains the phenomenon:

"This phenomenon is expected to end in 2060, which is the time remaining to eradicate from the atmosphere ozone-depleting substances. All gases containing chlorine and fluorine, already are prohibited, and they were replaced by alternatives that do not damage the ozone layer ”.

But as it is a colossal hole, despite the progress made by the Protocol, the phenomenon is reactivated every year in Antarctica. “In Antarctica it opened again (it happens from August to December every year), due to ozone-depleting substances, as well as low temperatures and solar radiation, ”says Cordero.

For countries such as Chile, Argentina, South Africa or Australia, this hole conditions the rainy season and the amount of rainfall and therefore crops, tourism, fires and any phenomenon related to rainfall.

Although all products containing Bromine and Chlorine are prohibited from being expelled into the atmosphere, all greenhouse gases harm the slow recovery of the ozone layer, that's why need consume products whose manufacture does not pollute our atmosphere. We must try mitigate our carbon footprintSince unfortunately nowadays traveling by plane, importing or exporting, or simply consuming meat, emits a large amount of carbon dioxide that with the population multiplier effect becomes enormous. For that there are organizations like Reforestum, With which Packawin eliminates its carbon footprint, which plants and reforests entire forests.

More than 30 years ago, they laid the first stones with which to fight climate change, a Montreal Treaty that shows us that international cooperation and the will of countries can turn any climate policy upside down. If already in the 80s they knew how to agree and put a stop to this, today, with the alarming adverse effects that we are experiencing, Will we be able to stop climate change?

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