In 1994, the UN General Assembly proclaimed September 16 the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer, commemorating the date of the signing, in 1987, of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer.
The theme for this year’s celebration is “Ozone Layer Protection: The Mission Goes On.” The Montreal Protocol has so far been successful in meeting some of its targets on phasing out ozone-depleting substances. As a result, the abundance of ozone-depleting substances in the atmosphere is declining and the ozone layer is expected to recover around the middle of this century. There are, however, some remaining challenges to the phase-out of ozone-depleting substances. NASA is also continuing to study ozone with instruments like OMI, Ozone Monitoring Instrument, the Ozone Mapping Profiler Suite (OMPS) on NPP, and, in 2016, SAGE III/ISS.
Without the ozone layer all of us on Earth would be exposed to more UV radiation, which could lead to problems like cataracts, cancer and reduced crop yields. Even with a recovering ozone layer it is important to protect yourself from Sun exposure by using sunscreen and sunglasses.
For more information and ways to join in the celebration visit the following links!
- The Arctic & the Ozone Layer: Stabilizing our Environment and Climate https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4VI8AKGY-tY
- The Antarctic Ozone Hole – From Discovery to Recovery, a Scientific Journey
- Ozone minimums, 1979 to 2013, image credit: NASA http://www.nasa.gov/content/goddard/international-action-against-ozone-depleting-substances-yields-significant-gains/#.VBg6w0vKwUh