The Ozone Layer Continues to Slowly Recover, WMO Report Finds
The production and consumption of controlled ozone-depleting substances have been phased out up to 99%, thanks to the Montreal Protocol and its amendments. But it is important for long-term changes in the ozone layer to be well measured and their causes to be understood.
The first World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) Ozone and UV Bulletin has been released.
Prof. Petteri Taalas, Secretary-General of WMO, highlighted the importance of the Global Atmosphere Watch (GAW) community's efforts in coordinating the global ozone observing network, which monitored both ozone depletion and recovery.
Prof. Taalas said in a statement: "I am proud of the central role WMO has played and continues to play. The success of the Montreal Protocol can inspire the world to address many other global environmental challenges through collective action, supported by science.
“Unfortunately climate change is slowing down the recovery of the ozone layer. Ozone depletion is also affecting the climate of the lower atmosphere.”
The publication of this new annual Bulletin by WMO is intended to provide an update on a range of matters relating to stratospheric ozone and ultraviolet radiation around the world, and replaces the earlier WMO Antarctic and Arctic ozone bulletins, last published seven years ago.
The Bulletin emphasizes the importance of continued high-quality measurements of stratospheric ozone and its drivers to ensure that the long-term changes in the ozone layer are well measured and their causes understood.
Stratospheric ozone is slowly recovering, with a full recovery in most parts of the atmosphere projected to occur in the coming decades.
The map, shows that in 2022, higher than normal ozone columns were observed in the tropics and subtropics and lower than normal ozone columns at higher latitudes, particularly in the southern hemisphere.
The ozone layer protects life on Earth from harmful solar ultraviolet (UV) radiation, thus ozone observations are critical to protect human and environmental health.