Earlier this year, the United Nations announced the most sought-after news about the ozone layer – finally, the ozone layer is recovering. Unfortunately, according to a new study, some massive chloroform emissions coming from East Asia are now delaying the ozone layer recovery by about eight years.
According to previous studies conducted by the United Nations, the reduction of CFCs, as the results of the Montreal Protocol, has been beneficial indeed for the ozone layer. Accordingly, the ozone layer, which shields our planet from the harmful solar radiations, will fully recover by 2050.
Well, that was the case just a few months ago when the UN presented, happily, the positive results in a conference. Now, chloroform emissions are on the rise in East Asia and are delaying the ozone layer recovery, according to new research carried out by scientists from the MIT.
Chloroform Emissions Are On The Rise in East Asia, Delaying Ozone Layer Recovery
“Ozone layer recovery is not as fast as people were hoping, and we show that chloroform is going to slow it down further. We’re getting these little side stories now that say, just a minute, species are rising that shouldn’t be rising. And, certainly, a conclusion here is that this needs to be looked at,” explained Ronald Prinn, a researcher with the MIT, ant one of the new study’s co-authors.
“We conclude that eastern China can explain almost all the global increase. We also found that the major chloroform production factories and industrialized areas in China are spatially correlated with the emissions hotspots. And some industrial reports show that chloroform use has increased, though we are not fully clear about the relationship between chloroform production and use, and the increase in chloroform emissions,” also said Xuekun Fang, a scientist in Prinn’s team.
“Our paper found that chloroform in the atmosphere is increasing, and we identified the regions of this emission increase and the potential impacts on future ozone recovery. So future regulations may need to be made for these short-lived species,” added Fang.
With over seven years of experience in online journalism, Vadim is passionate about everything related to science and the environment. For us, he will thus cover climate, environment, and science news, among others.