LONDON — The ozone layer is showing signs of recovering, thanks to a drop in ozone-depleting chemicals, but it is unlikely to stabilize at pre-1980 levels, researchers said on Wednesday. Depletion of the earth’s protective ozone layer is caused by the chemical action of chlorine and bromine released by man-made chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), which are used in aerosol sprays and cooling equipment. Ozone-depleting chemicals were banned by the 1987 Montreal Protocol which has now been ratified by 180 nations. ‘We now have some confidence that the ozone layer is responding to the decreases in chlorine levels in the atmosphere due to the leveling off and decrease of CFCs,’ said Dr Betsy Weatherhead, of the University of Colorado in Boulder. ‘Not only is the ozone layer getting better, we feel it is due to the Montreal Protocol,’ she added in an interview. The depletion of the ozone layer, which absorbs most of the harmful effects of the sun’s ultraviolet radiation, increases the risk of skin cancer and cataracts in humans and may harm crop yields and sea life. Despite the signs of recovery, Weatherhead, who reported the findings in the journal Nature, said people should still […]

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