Scientists are closely monitoring positive signs of recovery of the Earth’s stratospheric ozone layer, which is depleted by the use of chemicals called chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) for a range of industrial and commercial purposes. Even after the landmark Montreal Protocol banned these substances in the late 1980s, threats to the ozone layer persist. Scientists at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center including Susan Strahan and Qing Liang (both NASA/USRA) are weighing in to an ongoing debate about the relative impacts of continuing sources of ozone depletion, including short-lived chemicals not banned by the Protocol, the effects of climate change, and banned chemicals that are still being released into the atmosphere. All could potentially delay the recovery of the seasonal ozone hole over Antarctica.
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