Crossword of the day: the ozone layer has a bigger hole than South America
There is a hole in Earth’s atmosphere that is larger than the whole of South America.
Click Start to play today’s crossword puzzle, which is about atmospheric words.
The hole, or ozone hole, sits just above Antarctica and covers an area of between 21 million square kilometers and 27 million square kilometers. And it is not the only one. Two of the deepest and largest ozone holes in recent times occurred in 2006 and 2011.
These breaks in Earth’s atmosphere are cause for concern, according to a December 2013 report from National Geographic, because the ozone layer protects the planet’s surface from the sun’s ultraviolet rays, which can lead to skin cancer and cataracts in people. humans.
However, the massive hole over Antarctica has recently shown signs of healing. As it increases and decreases, the hole is expected to disappear completely by 2070 and be on the road to recovery within the next decade. Scientists, however, do not attribute this recovery to further anthropogenic progress on climate change – the shrinkage is likely a sign of varying weather conditions and winds.
A landmark human decision, however, has undeniably made a huge difference to Earth’s protective ozone barrier. Over 30 years ago, in 1987, the United States and other industrialized countries signed the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. Today, 197 countries are adhering to the Protocol, and the result has been the 99% phase-out of nearly 100 ozone-depleting chemicals.
Without it, the planet’s ozone layer would have collapsed entirely by 2050, with catastrophic consequences, according to a September 2017 report from National Geographic. Our global climate today would have been at least 25% warmer without the Montreal Protocol.
For example, the UV index in Los Angeles, US, in midsummer would have been at least 30 by 2070 – anything above 11 is considered extreme. Hurricanes and cyclones would have tripled, there would have been millions more cases of skin cancer and cataracts worldwide, and people would have been sunburned in less than five minutes!
Do you think the world needs more successful environmental treaties to protect it from global warming? Play today’s crossword puzzle and let us know at [email protected]