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Scientists say ozone layer restoration is back on track


According to protocol, assessments such as those issued on Monday are required at least every four years. In addition to NOAA scientists, contributors include researchers from NASA, the World Meteorological Organization, the United Nations Environment Program, and the European Commission.

The new assessment also looks at the ozone effects of a potential type of climate intervention, or geoengineering, for the first time. This method, known as stratospheric aerosols, aims to cool the atmosphere by using aircraft or other means of delivering sulfur aerosols to reflect some of the sun’s rays before they project to the surface.

The idea has drawn fierce opposition. Among other objections, opponents say that interfering with the climate in this way could have serious unintended consequences, potentially altering weather patterns around the world. But many scientists and others say research is needed at the very least, because warming could reach the point where the world becomes desperate to try such an intervention technique, perhaps temporarily. time to buy time before greenhouse gas cuts can have a significant impact.

NOAA’s Dr Fahey said a number of studies had shown the impact on the ozone layer of sulfur aerosols, so the review team was tasked with looking at this.

“This protocol exists to protect the ozone layer, and we’ve done a pretty good job of it in dealing with ozone-depleting substances,” he said. Looking at the aerosol injection into the stratosphere, “is in our garage,” he added.

There’s a lot of uncertainty in their findings, but the basic message is to try to cool the planet down to 0.5 degrees Celsius (0.9 degrees Fahrenheit), Dr. Fahey said. through the use of sulfur aerosols, there will be some effect on the atmosphere. But it “won’t destroy the ozone layer and have catastrophic consequences,” he said.

We actually knew it because Mount Pinatubo did the experiment for us,” he said, referring to the massive volcanic explosion in the Philippines in 1991 that sent a huge amount of sulfur gas into the stratosphere. stratospheric, creating aerosol fogs like a geoengineering effort.

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