NASA has confirmed that the huge hole in the ozone layer is finally shrinking, this means the global CFC ban that prohibits usage of any manmade chemicals containing chlorine is working. This means ozone is coming back, because humans have done something about it – a major environmental success.

Back in 1985, people of the Earth suddenly realised that the chemical used in number of devices – called the chlorofluorocarbons aka CFC were actually the main culprits of creating and widening a hole in the ozone layer of Earth’s atmosphere’s stratosphere. That was too bad because the ozone layer, which is a rich layer of a form of oxygen, was responsible to protect anything and everything on Earth from the harmful UV rays coming from Sun. These ultra-violet rays were eventually reaching the Earth and are so harmful that they can even damage our DNAs. Solution was to get rid of CFC used in aerosols, fridges, air conditioning and packing materials, globally.

To stop this atmospheric massacre, companies decided to stop usage of CFC and found a replacement; and eventually countries agreed upon an international agreement called the Montreal Agreement to limit and phase out the usage of CFC and save the ozone layer. There may have not been an immediate impact, but after making long term satellite observations, NASA showed that there was a 20% reduction in levels of chlorine in the Earth’s atmosphere since 2005, proving for the first time that the worldwide action is having a dramatic impact on the planet. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) made the observations and pictorially displayed that there was less depletion in the ozone layer and hence, the massive hole right above Antarctica is shrinking and healing.

While this is an achievement on its own for the entire human race, but we should not forget that the natural development of ozone is very, very slow and at this rate, the layer can be completely healed by 2060. Also, the bigger challenge is that CFCs aren’t the only chemicals that react with the ozone, so just limiting things with them isn’t good enough. Temperature too plays a major role in how and how much ozone reacts. So yes, the layer is showing positive signs of improvement because humans actually did something judiciously – but we need to do more for sustainable thriving generations in future, right here, on our Earth.