If you have forgotten, let us remind you that 16th September every year is observed as World Ozone Day. Talks, seminars and social activities are happening all around the world. However, the tragic side is, it just ends up as mere words, speeches and preaches.
Since 1995, International Ozone Day is observed on 16th September yearly. This day evokes the signing of the Montreal Protocol on substances that deplete the ozone layer.
Theme: World Ozone Day 2019
The theme behind the World Ozone Day 2019 is ’32 years and Healing’. This year’s theme honours three decades of remarkable international cooperation to protect the Ozone Layer and the climate under the Montreal Protocol. It is also a reminder to keep up the momentum to ensure healthy people and planet.
The latest Scientific Assessment of Ozone Depletion was completed in 2018. It shows that the parts of the ozone layer have recovered at a rate of 1-3% per decade since 2000. Even at this secured rates, Northern hemisphere and mid-latitude ozone will improve entirely by 2030, followed by Southern Hemisphere in the 2050s and Polar Regions by 2060. Ozone layer protection aim also commits to fighting with climate change.
The history behind World Ozone Day
On Septemeber 16th, 1987 Montreal Protocol was signed as the first step towards protection and prevention of ozone layer from the substances that deplete it. UN General Assembly, in its resolution 49/114 in 1987, chose this day. It is an International treaty planned to protect the ozone layer by reducing the production of materials that lead to the depletion of the layer.
Montreal Protocol was implemented on 1st January 1989. Various activities and special events are conducted to spread awareness among people about the importance of the ozone layer.
Montreal Protocol is one among the first treaties in the history of the United Nations to achieve universal ratification on 16th September 2009.
Causes and Effects:
As always human beings are the main villain in this situation as well. The human-made chemicals that contain chlorine or bromine, commonly known as ODS (Ozone Depleting Substances) are the principal cause of depletion.
One molecule of chlorine can break down thousands of ozone molecules. The foremost ozone-depleting substances include chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), carbon tetrachloride, hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) and methyl chloroform. Halons, also known as brominated fluorocarbons, contribute mightily to this. ODS have a lifetime of nearly 100 years.
The effect of depletion is drastic both to humans as well as other living beings on earth. The UV rays from the sun cause hazardous health issues and also affect the environment negatively by changing the life cycles of plants and disturbing the food chain. Depletion of this may result in a change in wind pattern, causing global warming. It will also result in climatic changes all over the world.
How can you protect mother Earth?
You can be a helping hand in saving mother earth and its protective layer from depleting. Here are some ways in which you can control the depletion:
- Buy air-conditioners, refrigerators and aerosol products that do not use HCFCs.
- Promote and take part in activities such as planting trees and backyard gardening.
- Use Environmental-friendly manure.
- Prevent excessive smoke emission from your vehicle, which causes air pollution. Save on gasoline and crude oil by regular maintenance.
- Do not burn plastics and rubber tires.
So if we have to survive, we have to protect our environment. Humans have a give and take relationship with mother Earth. We, humans, have been just taking from nature, now its high time we realise and start giving back to the Earth and protect the world for a better tomorrow.