News Story - International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer (Ozone Day) – 16 September
Date: 16 Sep 2011
New documentary examines the status of the Ozone Hole on the anniversary of the Montreal Protocol – a global agreement banning ozone depleting substances
It’s over 25 years since British Antarctic Survey (BAS) scientists discovered the Ozone Hole above Antarctica. A paper published in the science journal Nature alerted the world to the dramatic and major environmental threat. The accumulation of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) used in refrigeration and air conditioning systems, and industrial solvents were found to deplete the protective layer of ozone that surrounds the Earth. Action by governments around the world led to the 1987 Montreal Protocol and its amendments, which ensured that production and consumption of CFCs, halons and carbon tetrachloride were phased out by 2000, and methyl chloroform by 2005.
For these reasons, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) OzonAction Programme decided to embark on an investigative journey through the history and science of the ozone layer, the actions taken to address this major environmental threat and the consequences both for the ozone layer and Earth’s climate system.
From British Antarctic Survey to NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, transiting through Columbia University (New York), the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in Boulder Colorado - UNEP’s video is seeking explanations and answers from the scientists closest to the issue.
Jonathan Shanklin, one of the team from BAS that made the discovery in 1985, said,
“The Montreal Protocol demonstrates how science was at the heart of a global policy that has changed human behaviour and will result in the ozone hole recovering by the end of the century.“
The documentary will be released on International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer (“Ozone Day”), the United Nations’ annual day on September 16 commemorating the date, in 1987, on which the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer was signed. Screenings will be organized around the world, including one in Nairobi where UNEP has its headquarters, and at the Biosphère Environment Museum in Montreal where the Protocol was signed. The video is available in English and French at http://www.unep.org/ozonaction/antarctic