Have you ever noticed the smell that lingers after a storm? The air is filled with a kind of invigorating freshness that is hard to mistake for anything else. This smell is caused by ozone (O3) – a gas that forms one of our atmosphere’s layers.
The ozone layer is crucial to the well-being of creatures living on Earth. It protects us from the harmful activity of the sun by completely absorbing UV-C rays and partially trapping UV-B and UV-A rays. Without the ozone layer, we would be exposed to relentlessly powerful radiation that damages our DNA, accelerating the aging process and potentially causing mutations. We owe a lot to this invisible coat that resides about 30 km up above our daily affairs.
Last century, scientists noticed that a certain group of substances deposited in the atmosphere was causing serious ozone depletion and the formation of the so-called ozone hole. The problem turned out to be so serious that collective international action was taken. On March 22, 1985, several dozen countries signed the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer, and two years later the same countries signed the Montreal Protocol. Both of these documents paved the way for a significant reduction in the expansion of the ozone hole. It was the beginning of the ozone layer’s slow recovery.
A group of scientists identified the issue in 1973 – and it took only 12 years to sign and adhere to the key documents at the international level. This sets an important example for limiting CO2 emissions to the atmosphere. The Montreal Protocol and the Vienna Convention have shown that joined global efforts can have a real impact on the Earth’s future. Today, the full recovery of the ozone layer is estimated to be around the year 2050.
This achievement would not be possible without the close cooperation of scientists and governments around the globe. Ban on the production and use of harmful substances in the atmosphere was a key to solving this problem. CO2 is a much bigger challenge because of its ubiquity, but we can do it – with TerGo we are already one step closer to the goal.