Environmental Integrity

Are You Ready for Some GOOD Climate News?

Ozone Layer Recovery is On Track

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Are YouReady for a Piece of GOOD Climate News?
Ozone Layer Recovery is On Track

Source: World Meteorological Organization and United Nations Environment Programme

Copyright: No protection is claimed in original U.S. Government works.

NASA reported in September of 1992 that the Antarctic ozone hole [which appeared during the 1980’s] set a new size record of 89 million square miles – a 15% increase from 1991. “By comparison,” stated NASA, “the U.S. 48 contiguous states have a surface area of approximately 3 million square miles.” 1

Seven months earlier, Senator Al Gore, Jr. had written in The Washington Post that “A thinner ozone layer allows more ultraviolet radiation to strike Earth’s surface. Many life forms are vulnerable to large increases in this radiation…the principal damage has been done by CFC’s [chlorofluorocarbons].” 2

Fast forward 30+ years. On January 9, 2023, the United Nations Environment Programme and the World Meteorological Organization reported that “the ozone layer is expected to recover to 1980 values (before the appearance of the ozone hole) by around 2066 over the Antarctic, by 2045 over the Arctic and by 2040 for the rest of the world.” 3  

What led to this stunning achievement?  Nations working together: “ The Montreal Protocol is a global agreement to protect the Earth’s ozone layer by phasing out the chemicals that deplete it. The landmark agreement entered into force in 1989 and it is one of the most successful global environmental agreements. Thanks to the collaborative effort of nations around the world, the ozone layer is on its way to recovery, and many environmental and economic benefits have been achieved.” The UN Environment Programme went on to state that “The UN-backed Scientific Assessment Panel to the Montreal Protocol on Ozone Depleting Substances quadrennial assessment report, published every four years, confirms the phase out of nearly 99% of banned ozone-depleting substances. The Montreal Protocol has thus succeeded in safeguarding the ozone layer, leading to notable recovery of the ozone layer in the upper stratosphere and decreased human exposure to harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun.”


1.      “1992 Antarctic Ozone Sets New Size Record, ”NASA Release 92-159, 9/29/1992.

2.      Al Gore, Jr., “The Ozone Catastrophe: Warning from the Skies,” The Washington Post, 2/9/1992.

3.      “Ozone layer recovery is on track, helping avoid global warming by 0.50 C,” World Meteorological Organization Press Release Number: 09012023, 1/9/2023.