Why You Don’t Hear About the Ozone Layer Anymore

Ozone Layer

In the early 80s, scientists located there was a hole in the ozone over the South Pole. A powerful layer of gas that deflects much of the sun’s radiation was fading much quicker than anyone anticipated. Projections indicated it would collapse by 2050, advancing skin cancer rates, harming crops, and killing the marine food chain. The situation was bad and alarming. But today, we are on the path to healing the ozone layer.

Dr. Susan Solomon, with other scientists, contributed key results to understand what was weakening the ozone layer and how to handle it. In this video, she takes us back to her trip to Antarctica, breaks down how we worked to fix this massive problem, and looks at our next major environmental challenge — climate change — with the rampant optimism that forced her to fix the ozone hole.

If you want to know more about the subject:

To learn about the scientific discoveries by Mario J. Molina and F. Sherwood Rowland that kick-started investigation into chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) in the ’70s, take a look at their groundbreaking paper here:
https://www.nature.com/articles/249810a0

To read the 1985 paper that revealed there was an ozone hole forming over the South Pole, click here:
https://www.nature.com/articles/315207a0

You can find Solomon’s 1986 paper on her Antarctica expedition here:
https://www.nature.com/articles/321755a0

To read more of Solomon’s work, check out her publications here:
https://eapsweb.mit.edu/people/solos

To understand the Montreal Protocol in more detail, read the United Nations Environment Programme’s summary here:
https://www.unep.org/ozonaction/who-we-are/about-montreal-protocol

Video by VOX

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