Good news! Scientist reveal that CFC ban slows global warming

Highlights 

  • Scientists have revealed that the worldwide ban on chemicals like chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) has reduced the intensity of climate catastrophe. 
  • The international team of scientists developed a fresh framework, which is based on ozone depletion data and plant damage by increased UV rays, carbon cycle and climate change. 
  • Thanks to the Montreal Protocol, we have delayed extreme climatic conditions. However, more such effective measures are needed to be taken to procure and preserve the planet from climate destruction.  

After back-to-back mind-boggling reports on climate change that showed how we are delving deeper into the climate change crisis without any relief, finally a positive report has come out that shows that if climate conscious decisions are taken and implemented internationally, the Earth could again become a green and safe place for all species. 

Taking things into flashback, what happened in 1987 substantially influenced the course of climate change for the following years: 

A global ban was imposed on ozone-depleting chemicals in 1987. The Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer banned harmful chemicals like chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). 

What do chemicals like CFCs do to the ozone layer?

CFCs are potent greenhouse gases. They destroy the ozone layer, which protects the earth from harmful ultraviolet (UV-B) rays generated from the sun. 

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Recently, scientists revealed that the worldwide ban on chemicals like CFCs has reduced the intensity of climate catastrophe today. 

  • International team of scientists from the UK, US and New Zealand published in Nature that showcased the significance of the Montreal Protocol in saving the ozone layer and reducing global warming. 
  • Researchers working on the Montreal Protocol said we have delayed the reality of a “scorched earth,” because of the global CFC ban. 
  • The new evidence suggests that Earth’s carbon absorption abilities would have been massively weak if the world was still using chemicals like CFCs. 
  • According to scientists, the Montreal Protocol is the only successful international take to battle climate change, without the protocol Earth would be experiencing soaring global temperature. 

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The international team of scientists developed a fresh modelling framework. The framework is based on ozone depletion data, plant damage by increased UV rays, carbon cycle and climate change. 

The new modelling framework reveals: 

  • If the ban on chemicals like CFCs hadn’t been put in place, the ozone layer would have collapsed by the 2040s. 
  • Ozone would have been 60% less by 2100 above the tropics, which would be worse than the hole formed above the Antarctic. 
  • By 2050, the magnitude of the UV rays on Europe and central Asia would have been stronger in the present day.
  • Earth’s vegetation would have been exposed too much to the UV rays because of the depleted ozone layer. 
  • The model also revealed that without the ban, the amount of CO2 absorbed by the plants, soil, and trees would have been less, thus, more CO2 would be remaining in the atmosphere.

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How the world would have looked by the end of this century without the Montreal Protocol CFC ban:

  • About 580 billion tons of carbon would not have been stored in the forests, that means it would have been trapped in the atmosphere. 
  • Elaborately, an additional 165-215 parts per million of CO2 would be there in the atmosphere. If compared to today’s range, which is 420 parts per million CO2 the former one is an additional 40-50%.
  • As a result, the additional CO2 would have raised the global temperature by 0.8 Celsius.  

According to Dr. Chris Huntingford of the UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, "This analysis reveals a remarkable linkage, via the carbon cycle, between the two global environmental concerns of damage to the ozone layer and global warming."

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Bottom Line

It is crystal clear that excessive CO2 is a poison to Earth: triggering global warming and climate change. Chemicals like CFCs result in increased CO2 levels in the atmosphere. Thanks to the Montreal Protocol we have saved the ozone layer. However, more such effective measures are needed to be taken to procure and preserve the planet from climate destruction. 

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