The Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, which was signed 16 September 1987, has prevented the destruction of the ozone layer which protects Earth from the harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun.
“Millions of cases of skin cancer and eye cataracts, as well as the harmful effects of ultraviolet radiation on the environment, have already been avoided. The Protocol has also catalyzed considerable innovation in the chemical and equipment manufacturing industry, resulting in more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly refrigeration systems,” said Ban Ki-moon in a message to mark the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer.
In its Antarctic Ozone Bulletin published today (14 September), WMO reported that the ozone hole increased rapidly during the first two weeks of September from about 9less than 10 million km2 to approximately 19 million km2. As of mid September the ozone hole is smaller than at the same time in 2011, but larger than in 2010. This is based on observations from the ground, from weather balloons and from satellites together with meteorological data.
The Antarctic ozone hole is an annually recurring winter/spring phenomenon due to the existence of extremely low temperatures in the stratosphere and the presence of ozone-depleting substances. It typically reaches its maximum surface area during the second half of September and the maximum depth during the first half of October.