Ozone is a molecule that provides the Earth with protection from dangerous UV rays that, if allowed to pass through the atmosphere, would cause increased skin cancer in humans and kill off many of the plants we depend on. The current hole was caused by man made chemicals that destroy the ozone molecule. To “heal” the ozone hole, many countries have signed the Montreal Protocol, which is an international agreement to stop producing and expelling those chemicals (chlorofluorocarbons) that deplete the ozone layer we need. It has been extremely successful, and scientists predict that the hole will have shrunk to pre-1980 size by 2070.
There is no process that is done to heal the ozone layer. It seems to be healing because countries are agreeing to produce less halogenated hydrocarbons (chemicals that contain atoms like chlorine, bromine or fluorine among others). However, there is some evidence that the healing of the ozone layer may lead to more global warming due to the changes in the clouds. We are currently experiencing more clouds that reflect the sun’s rays and prevent heating of our earth. This is a change from pior years where the ozone layer had a smaller hole, so it could be that healing the ozone layer, a good thing, could lead to more global warming.
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