The Trial Lawyer Winter 2018 - Page 80

It is indeed an excellent example to which climate change deniers would do well to pay attention. The return of the Earth’s ozone layer is the result of an international agreement, signed in 1987, in which governments around the world agreed to phase out the use of ozone- depleting chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). Thanks to this action, ozone levels have been on the rise since the mid-1990s. Those levels are on track to return to their normal levels within the next 12 to 15 years in the Northern Hemisphere. 78 x The Trial Lawyer The hole in Antarctica will take a bit longer to repair. However, it is expected to be fully recovered by the mid-2060s according to a scientific assessment issued at the 30th Annual Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol. According to NASA scientist Dr. Paul A. Newman, the news could not have come at a better time. He noted, “If ozone-depleting substances had continued to increase, we would have seen huge effects.” Newman points out that had no action been taken 30 years ago, two-thirds of the ozone layer would be gone by 2065. “We stopped that,” he says. Ozone is a form of oxygen containing three atoms instead of one (and thus is also known as “trioxygen”). It gives off a distinct odor that is familiar to anyone who has played with electric trains. Chemically unstable, ozone has few commercial applications; however, as part of the Earth’s stratosphere, existing between five and 30 miles above the surface, it plays a vital role in the