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Wednesday, September 23, 2020

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International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer

September 16

“International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer” is observed on 16th September every year. It is marked to create and promote awareness about the importance of the ozone layer and its protection. The day is also called as World Ozone Day and was first celebrated in 1995.

The United Nations in 1994 declared 16th September as the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer, remembering the date of the signing of the Montreal Protocol on substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, in 1987. The Montreal Protocol is a multinational agreement designed in phasing out of production and consumption of various elements that are accountable for ozone depletion. 

The agreement initially focused on chemicals with higher ozone-depletion potentials, including Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and halons. The phase-out schedule for HCFCs was relaxed due to their lower ozone-depletion possibilities, and they were also used as substitutes for CFCs. Further, in 2016, the latest Kigali agreement in Rwanda was signed by the international community to phase-down hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs).

The Montreal Protocol was drafted in line with the framework devised at the Vienna Convention (1985) to reduce the production of chlorofluorocarbons internationally. The Vienna Convention and the Montreal Protocol were the first treaties in history to achieve universal ratification.

Scientists of the British Antarctic Survey first published their findings of the depletion of the ozone layer above the earth’s surface in the Antarctica region, and they named it as “Ozone Hole”. Subsequently, the deliberations and conventions were made to rectify the problem of ozone depletion.

Now, the scientists have confirmed the ozone layer has started recovering, and credit goes to the Montreal Protocol, and it’s a successful implementation.

Did you know?

Ozone (O3) is a particular form of oxygen, present mostly in the stratosphere (an atmospheric layer lies between 10 and 40km above the earth’s surface). The ozone layer absorbs the harmful ultraviolet rays from the sun. Because of this reason, it is considered as “Good Ozone”. On the other hand, ozone on the earth’s surface produced by pollutants is harmful to living beings. Therefore, it is called “Bad Ozone”.

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