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World Ozone Day

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World Ozone Day, also known as International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer, is observed every year on 16 September. This day is an opportunity to focus global attention and action on this vital environmental issue.

 Ozone for life: 35 years of ozone layer protection

This year, we celebrate 35 years of the Vienna Convention and 35 years of global ozone layer protection. Life on Earth would not be possible without sunlight. But the energy emanating from the sun would be too much for life on Earth to thrive were it not for the ozone layer.

Montreal Protocol

The principal aim of the  Montreal Protocol  is to protect the ozone layer by taking measures to control total global production and consumption of substances that deplete it, with the ultimate objective of their elimination on the basis of developments in scientific knowledge and technological information.

What is ozone?

Ozone is a special form of oxygen with the chemical formula O3. The oxygen we breathe and that is so vital to life on earth is O2.

Ozone constitutes a very small part of our atmosphere, but its presence is nevertheless vital to human well-being. Most ozone resides high up in the atmosphere, between 10 and 40km above Earth’s surface. This region is called the stratosphere and it contains about 90% of all the ozone in the atmosphere.

The Ozone hole and science

Following the publication of the findings of a British Antarctic Survey article in May 1985, the phenomenon of ozone depletion over Antarctica was referred to as the “ozone hole”, a phrase first attributed to Nobel Prize winner Sherwood Rowland. The satellite image of the Ozone Hole has become a global symbol of this environmental threat that has helped mobilize public support for the Montreal Protocol.

 

The work of atmospheric scientists and environmental researchers continues to play a paramount role in informing the policy making under the Montreal Protocol. Images and scientific bulletins about ozone depletion are useful communication tools to the public about progress made and challenges ahead.

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