The rate at which ozone is being destroyed in the upper stratosphere is slowing, and the levels of ozone-destroying chlorine in that layer of the atmosphere have peaked and are going down -- the first clear evidence that a worldwide reduction in chlorofluorocarbon pollution is having the desired effect, according to a new study.
"This is the beginning of a recovery of the ozone layer," said Professor Michael Newchurch of the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH), the scientist who led the ozone trend-analysis research team. "We had a monumental problem of global scale that we have started to solve."
Using data from three NASA satellites and three international ground stations, the team found that ozone depletion in the upper stratosphere -- the layer of the atmosphere between 35 and 45 kilometers [22-28 miles] above the ground -- has slowed since 1997. "We are extremely pleased to have the highly calibrated, long term satellite and ground-based data records necessary to observe these small, but important changes in the ozone layer," said Newchurch. The results of this work have been accepted for publication in the American Geophysical Union’s Journal of Geophysical Research - Atmospheres.
Harvey Leifert | EurekAlert!
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