A step towards a brighter future


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The Ozone layer is healing but there’s more to be done.

Jordan Graham, Staff Writer

The United Nations has released a report on the current state of the Ozone layer, showing promising results, but it is not perfect yet. So what should we be doing about it?

The Ozone layer has been affected by massive amounts of human emissions since the early days of the Industrial Revolution in the 1800s. This inevitably caused “holes” to be formed in the layer, thus damaging the only protective layer that kept the toxic ultraviolet rays from reaching the Earth’s surface. Thankfully, in recent years actions have been taken to help reduce carbon emissions in order to lessen the harsh effects of climate change. 

 The Montreal Protocol went into effect in the 1980s to help prevent Ozone depleting substances. Since then, many countries have come forward to help change the ways of industries and even the general public. With the help of developing technology, less carbon dioxide (CO2) has risen into the air because people are switching over from coal-based energy to solar and wind powered energy. Electric cars are becoming preferred over gas powered cars, which release dangerous gasses into the air. Despite the high carbon footprint, people have been changing their ways.

Within the report itself, it was claimed that the Ozone layer is in fact healing and is set to be fully back in the next two decades. While this is all good news, more work must be put into changing habits because the Ozone can easily deteriorate again. Many dangerous substances, like hydrofluorocarbons, are not covered by the Montreal Protocol and can still deeply affect the atmosphere. 

A huge roadblock in plans to combat climate change are some of the biggest emitters of CO2. Large industries that rely on fossil fuels and other greenhouse gasses put forth little effort to fight this crisis as expenses are far too high to simply switch fueling methods. The largest industry emitter is the electricity and heating industry, which averages about 15.8 billion tons per year, followed by transportation at 6.3 billion tons. 

Although corporations aren’t all to blame. So far the country with the highest human carbon footprint per person is Qatar, at 35.6 metric tons of CO2. The U.S. alone releases about 14 tons per person and a population total of 4.7 million tons a year on average. The highest carbon emitter is China at a total of 10.6 million tons total while the global emissions of CO2 is 37.12 billion metric tons per year.

Despite this, there are many ways to help reduce carbon emissions and help keep the Ozone layer intact. Just riding a bike can reduce one’s carbon footprint by nearly 67% and that reduction can be higher if more is done. Combating climate change is a struggle, and while the future does look brighter, this should not stop the effort to fight climate change and create an even more thriving environment.

Contact Jordan Graham at [email protected]