AKIPRESS.COM - Earth's protective ozone layer is finally healing from damage caused by aerosol sprays and coolants, a new United Nations report said, ABC News reports.
The ozone layer had been thinning since the late 1970s. Scientists raised the alarm and ozone-depleting chemicals were phased out worldwide.
As a result, the upper ozone layer above the Northern Hemisphere should be completely repaired in the 2030s and the gaping Antarctic ozone hole should disappear in the 2060s.
This year, the ozone hole over the South Pole peaked at nearly 9.6 million square miles (24.8 million square kilometers). That's about 16 percent smaller than the biggest hole recorded — 11.4 million square miles (29.6 million square kilometers) in 2006.
Scientists don't know how much a healed ozone hole will further warm Antarctica, but they do know the immediate effects of ozone depletion on the world and human health.
The replacements now being used to cool cars and refrigerators need to be replaced themselves with chemicals that don't worsen global warming.
An amendment to the Montreal Protocol that goes into effect next year would cut use of some of those gases.