Polar ozone layer losses, 1960-1990

Polar ozone layer losses, 1960-1990

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Caption: Polar ozone layer losses. Changes in average ozone levels in the ozone layer above the poles between 1960 and 1990. The changes are shown for the Arctic (top) and for the Antarctic (bottom). This study was carried out in 2002 by CNRM, the French National Weather Research Centre. Ozone is a gas found in small quantities in the stratosphere at a height of 15-35 kilometres above the Earth's surface, where it absorbs much of the harmful ultraviolet radiation in sunlight. Stratospheric ozone levels declined after 1960 due to its destruction by long-lived chlorinated gases released by human activities. These long-lived gases were banned by the Montreal Protocol of 1987. For a picture of the increase in polar ozone by 2040, see E100/254.

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