Predicted polar ozone recovery, 1960-2040

Predicted polar ozone recovery, 1960-2040

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Credit: PATRICK DUMAS/EURELIOS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Predicted polar ozone recovery. Changes and predicted changes in average ozone levels above the poles between 1960 and 2040. 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, high above the Earth's surface, where it absorbs much of the harmful ultraviolet radiation in sunlight. Stratospheric ozone levels declined due to 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 decrease in polar ozone from 1960 to 1990, see E100/253.

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