As humans stay indoors, amid COVID-19 lockdown, the earth’s ozone layer shows remarkable improvement, and the 1987 Montreal protocol deserves credit for it. By Tanvi Jain


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With more and more people staying indoors amid complete lockdown in light of the coronavirus outbreak, the situation is proving to be beneficial for the Earth’s ozone layer, and the 1987 Montreal Protocol could be responsible for it. 

As per a new study, the international cooperation on ozone-depleting chemicals is helping the southern jet stream return to its normal state, which has long been disrupted by human atrocities to the planet. 

The southern jet stream, which shapes weather patterns and ocean currents had been moving towards Antarctica, thereby impacting storm and rainfall in South America, East Africa and Australia 


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Past research has shown that this movement was a result of ozone layer depletion caused by manmade chemical compounds, which were used in large amount, up until the Montreal protocol, an agreement that was designed for the purpose of putting an end to the production and import of ozone-depleting substances, thereby reducing their concentration in the atmosphere, in order to protect the ozone layer. 

Chemical compounds such as chlorofluorocarbons and hydrochlorofluorocarbons, found in fridges, aerosols and other industrial processes, had resulted in thinning of the ozone layer, which had, therefore, widened the hole above the south pole, affecting the wind patterns. 

As per the study, has since the turn of the century, the 1987 Montreal protocol has not only paused the jet stream’s southward movement, but might have also started reversing it, as NASA’s last year’s satellite images had shown major reduction in the size of the ozone hole.  


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“Observations show robust near-surface trends in Southern Hemisphere tropospheric circulation towards the end of the twentieth century. These trends were driven by ozone depletion in the Antarctic stratosphere due to emissions of ozone-depleting substances,” mentioned the study published in scientific journal Nature. 

This improvement could have a positive impact on regions. For example, more rainfall in drought-hit areas. 

A 2018 report by Environment Investigation Agency, EIA Globalhad blamed China for illegally emitting banned ozone-depleting chemical — Trichlorofluoromethane (CFC-11).

Related: Here’s How The Coronavirus Lockdown Is Affecting The Environment (In A Positive Way)