Ozone layer showing ‘signs of recovery’, UN says

Sep 16, 2014

By Roger Harrabin

The ozone layer that shields the earth from cancer-causing ultraviolet rays is showing early signs of thickening after years of depletion, a UN study says.

The ozone hole that appears annually over Antarctica has also stopped growing bigger every year.

The report says it will take a decade before the hole starts to shrink.

Scientists say the recovery is entirely due to political determination to phase out the man-made CFC gases destroying ozone.

 

Read more here.

18 comments on “Ozone layer showing ‘signs of recovery’, UN says

  • Decades after starting to regulate and make a simple substitution of chemicals in manufactured products, we now have a slight improvement!

    I wonder how many decades or centuries it will take for other environmental damage to show recovery AFTER humans START effectively regulating their destructive activities?



    Report abuse

  • But, But, but, Alan,

    Don't you know that this is just the natural cycle of things and it purely coincidental that it coincides with the reduction in CFC emissions? Anyone would swear that you had forgotten that the industrial revolution, growth in fossil fuel use and the link to AGW is but another of those convenient coincidences.

    Or at least, that is the response one is going to get from the typical AGW deniers.



    Report abuse

  • 3
    charlotte says:

    People say to me ‘just to be on the safe side.’

    Like a religious friend of mine who says I should follow the bible ‘just in case there is a god at the end of all this.’ to me, that’s not worth not eating pork for, or not drinking.

    but when I first heard the argument for CFC’s, and all the ruckus that there was no proof it was harming our ozone layer, part of me felt ‘well, until we know for sure, I’m not buying CFC products, just to be on the safe side.’

    I mean, how my life ends is down to me, but the ozone layer regards the future of this planet as we know it, right? So surely that is a cause worth taking up, even if it could have ended up being false.

    I dunno, that might hypocritical of me, but it’s all about planting a seed to a tree we [the planter] will never sit under.



    Report abuse

  • charlotte Sep 17, 2014 at 7:15 am

    but when I first heard the argument for CFC’s, and all the ruckus that there was no proof it was harming our ozone layer, part of me felt ‘well, until we know for sure, I’m not buying CFC products, just to be on the safe side.’

    The doubt-mongering was put about by aerosol manufacturers who were supporting the “sacred commercial dogma”, that using the safe alternative propellants which cost a penny a can more, was unacceptable to their profit ethos!

    Like a religious friend of mine who says I should follow the bible ‘just in case there is a god at the end of all this.’

    You should point out to your friend the mathematical folly of this! There are, and have been, thousands of gods, each with their own devoted followers, so the chances of picking the right one, are thousands to one against!

    Following the Bible is likely to seriously upset Huitzilopochtli, Zeus and Aphrodite!(allegedly)



    Report abuse

  • The doubt-mongering was put about by aerosol manufacturers

    Invented by the tobacco companies in the 50s, if my memory serves me right?



    Report abuse

  • Olgun Sep 17, 2014 at 7:43 am

    Invented by the tobacco companies in the 50s, if my memory serves me right?

    .. and adopted by climate-change deniers, anti-vaxers etc.!

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/what_climate_denial_has_learnt_from_tobacco_denial.html

    The tactics used by the tobacco industry were successful in delaying government regulation for years. Therefore it is not surprising to see these same techniques used by those who oppose action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Peter Sinclair has produced an excellent video that leaves no doubt about the similarities between what happened then and what is happening now. Some of the main parts are even being played by the same people.

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/NASA-climate-denialist-letter.html
    Almost exactly two years ago, John Cook wrote about the 5 characteristics of science denialism. The second point on the list involved fake experts.

    “These are individuals purporting to be experts but whose views are inconsistent with established knowledge. Fake experts have been used extensively by the tobacco industry who developed a strategy to recruit scientists who would counteract the growing evidence on the harmful effects of second-hand smoke.”



    Report abuse

  • A3Kr0n Sep 17, 2014 at 9:37 am

    Scientists say it’s entirely due to political determination?

    The political determination was in passing legislation banning CFCs therby forcing alternatives to be used.

    Since when do scientists talk like that?
    I’m calling bullshit.

    The connection between the legislation and the reduction in use and release of CFCs and the consequent reducing levels of ozone destroying CFCs in air samples, should be easy to understand from stated scientific measurements.



    Report abuse

  • Olgun Sep 17, 2014 at 9:46 am

    Thank you Alan. Just some straight talking and legislation from a strong honest government would stop it in its tracks.

    Unfortunately those are rare attributes in governments!

    Red card on environment for ‘greenest government ever’http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-29210467

    The government is failing to reduce air pollution, protect biodiversity and prevent flooding, a cross-party body of MPs has said.

    The Environmental Audit Committee dished out a “red card” on these three concerns after examining efforts made since 2010.

    The MPs said on a further seven green issues ministers deserved a “yellow card” denoting unsatisfactory progress.

    ..

    The government said it strongly disagreed with the findings.

    . . . .

    After coming to power in 2010, Prime Minister David Cameron stated he was committed to leading the “greenest government ever”.

    A year later, a natural environment White Paper had the ambition of being “the first generation to leave the natural environment of England in a better state than it inherited”.

    David “Gas-fracking, oil-drilling” Cameron!!
    Epic fail along with epic denial!

    On air quality, The Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) said the government deserved a red card.

    The MPs found that emissions of airborne pollutants rose in 2013 after being steady for a number of years before. Under the terms of an EU directive on dirty air, the UK failed to meet the standards required in 34 of the country’s 43 zones.

    On biodiversity, the government also scored red.

    The latest sustainable development indicators showed a decline in the counts of three of the four bird populations that are seen as key indicators for the state of the UK’s wildlife. The MPs found that invasive species were also on the rise and becoming more prevalent.

    The third red card meted out by the EAC was for flooding and coastal protection.

    The committee pointed out that 2.4 million properties are still at risk from flooding from rivers or the sea, while three million are at risk from surface water.

    The government’s attempts to deliver natural flood alleviation measures were rated as “consistently poor” by Wildlife and Countryside Link in 2013. Nine of the 24 water areas in England and Wales were said to be experiencing serious water stress.



    Report abuse

  • To quote Homer Simpson; “What if we picked the wrong religion? every time we go to church we’re just making god madder!”

    Pascal’s wager is a falacy. it assumes that if god is real then so is heaven and hell and said deity obsesses about how some apes behave. it’s a trick to get into heaven if there is a heaven, it assumes god is everything the christian bible says he is but he’s also easy to fool (which is religion in a nutshell).

    if you feel you want to be safe by avoiding CFC products, you’re not being a hypocrite becasue there is no rational argument that avoiding CFCs would cause greater damage, and you know more evidence one way or another will come along. with AGW, the evidence is coming thick and fast (and the deniers getting louder about the same lack of evidence they have) but the deniers could be proved right in our lifetime (doubtful but not impossible) and if they are you could adjust your behaviour accordingly.

    Believing in god “just in case” is a different matter altogether. it makes huge assumptions. first of them being, if there is a god, s/he only likes believers, so straight away the possibility that there’s a god of the skeptics (as much evidence as there is for yahweh) who plans to reward only those who use their brains to work out the best way of living for themselves and others and has a very nast place put aside for anyone who blindly follows instructions. Even if you accept the assumption that if there was a god, it’d be the one who talked to abraham (ignoring the thousands of gods that went before and since), it’s making the assumption that this god is all-powerful. yet it’s followers constantly worry about satan. so should you give up bacon and weekend lie ins, you might find it’s all for nothing. alternatively, you might believe in abrahams god, give up bacon and weekends, only to find that actually you don’t get into heaven unless you pray 5 times a day or preach the gospel or whatever. in that case you had a less fun time of life than a hedonist but end up in the same hell as them. worse for you because they have better stories.

    Either way, you will be given no extra data to work on. you live your life, you die, and if there’s a god, he or she sends you where he or she wants based on criterea you have never been a party to.

    So in conclusion. no you’re not being hypocritical. you’re being critical



    Report abuse

  • There is similar scaremongering by the “It’ll ruin the economy” muppets, projecting their “alarmism” on to scientists producing soundly researched evidence.

    Climate change remedies ‘affordable’, says global body – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-29213679

    Politicians will put the world economy at risk if they fail to tackle climate change, a global commission has warned.

    The body, a group of chief executives, former prime ministers and finance ministers, argues the cost of tackling climate change is modest.

    Its report says adding 5% to the $6 trillion (£3.7tn; 4.6tn euros) a year due to be spent on power and transport projects could buy clean technology.

    The Global Commission on the Economy and Climate was set up by seven governments and informed by research organisations around the world.

    Its report says one key to safeguarding the climate is to change spending priorities for new infrastructure.

    Creating sprawling car-dependent cities will lock in high pollution, whilst planning dense cities with good public transport will help keep emissions down, cut local pollution and improve quality of life, it says.

    The commission says that by developing in this way, governments can collectively save $3 trillion over the next 15 years.



    Report abuse

  • . Today, I still buy a pump pack deodorant. There is now only one left on my supermarket shelf. 4 metres of deodorants and on the bottom shelf there is one brand left with an average of 3 or 4 bottles. I get down on my knees and retrieve one, plus a spare in case they stop stocking this one last brand. Are we so week as a species that we don’t have the energy in our index finger to squeeze a pump pack 3 times for each underarm. We choose an expensive aluminum gas powered device to deliver a small amount of liquid to each underarm. The over engineering. The wasted mining of bauxite. The fossil fuel wasted in manufacture and transport so we can save a micro joule of energy in our finger muscles.

    I recalled this paragraph from one of the previous Discussion Threads. I think it puts things into perspective.
    I’m not 100% sure, but the modern aerosol cans do not contain CFCs right?



    Report abuse

  • David “Gas-fracking, oil-drilling” Cameron!! Epic fail along with epic
    denial!

    As a Turkish Cypriot and my involvement at NGO level as a lobbyist, I have come to understand this has to do with energy problems in Europe that involves Russia, Ukraine, Syria, Israel, Turkey and the troubles and gas in Cyprus. Both options to get the gas from Israel to Europe by pipe are blocked so it could really become a huge problem. This explains why Cameron is looking at fracking.



    Report abuse

  • Olgun Sep 18, 2014 at 6:00 pm

    The problem with Cameron is that he is all wind and talk about “green government”!

    His preoccupation with gas-fraking and oil-drilling, is to the neglect of the technologies that should be getting large investments – tidal turbines, thorium nuclear, insulated and energy efficient buildings with ground-heat storage and green energy transport systems. Mediterranean areas should be following Spain’s and California’s example in setting up solar thermal generation systems.

    We discussed some of these back in 2011.

    http://old.www.richarddawkins.net/discussions/643310-water-cooled-nuclear-power-plants-aren-t-the-only-option

    Gas is cleaner than coal – but not a lot cleaner!



    Report abuse

  • His preoccupation with gas-fraking and oil-drilling, is to the neglect
    of the technologies that should be getting large investments – tidal
    turbines, thorium nuclear, insulated and energy efficient buildings
    with ground-heat storage and green energy transport systems.

    I am not sure how long they would take to implement but the problem with energy is now. Doesn’t get him off the hook but a short term solution is necessary.



    Report abuse

  • Olgun Sep 18, 2014 at 6:31 pm

    I am not sure how long they would take to implement but the problem with energy is now. Doesn’t get him off the hook but a short term solution is necessary.

    The “energy now” problem is largely due to earlier prevarication and the wilful disinformation campaigns of the carbon industries.

    Playing silly-sods with the Russians (who supply much of Europe’s gas) over the Ukraine . could make things a lot worse!
    (Looking at the “brilliant jobs” done in Iraq, Libya, and Syria, I don’t think the Russians or Ukrainians will be looking for advice from the West!)



    Report abuse

  • Totally agree Alan but it is a two way sillysodery. The route for the gas pipe through Syria was blocked by the Russians. They have to protect their 40% interests. I only heard it once on the BBC but at the recent remembrance gathering, Putin was reported to say, “tell America to stop meddling in Ukraine and I will stop meddling in Syria”. Never mentioned again??? Pipe then to go onto Turkey who had an Iraqi/Kurdish problem and…………..



    Report abuse

Leave a Reply

View our comment policy.