Ozone Depletion

Can global action rescue the deteriorating ozone layer?


Until recently, severe depletion of the earth's protective ozone layer -- which blocks harmful solar radiation -- was thought to be confined to a “hole” over Antarctica. But in February NASA scientists raised new concerns when they reported that the 25-mile-wide layer apparently is thinning over the Northern Hemisphere and other populated areas. Findings to be released this month may even show that a second hole has opened over northern New England, Canada, northern Europe, Russia and China. Led by the United States, once complacent governments are now scrambling to accelerate the elimination of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and other chemicals that destroy ozone. Their response to this global threat could provide a model for international cooperation in combating similar environmental dangers.

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