JUL 18, 2016 07:43 PM PDT

Oh my, the Ozone is healing!

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There's good news from Antarctica, where researchers with tools like ozonesondes - pictured above - have been following the infamous ozone hole as it waxes and wanes over the seasons. The ozone hole has shrunk by 1.5 million square miles - around 4 million square kilometers - and this "healing" trend appears to be continuing.

A major ecological catastrophe has been averted, and we can cite human intervention as the reason. When the globe swept into action with 1987′s Montreal Protocol, which banned a number of substances known to contribute to ozone depletion, it apparently worked.

When scientists first began to observe a hole in the ozone layer over Antarctica, it was a cause for grave concern. Though ozone levels actually fluctuate throughout the year, they perform an important function by blocking the sun's harmful UV radiation, which can cause skin cancer in humans.

Source: Environmental News Network
About the Author
  • Kathryn is a curious world-traveller interested in the intersection between nature, culture, history, and people. She has worked for environmental education non-profits and is a Spanish/English interpreter.
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