Ozone Hole Is Recovering But India Is Creating Bigger Problems

Here’s a quick look at the status of the dreaded hole & how India is contributing to ozone pollution.

2 min read

(This article was first published on 16 September 2019. It has been reposted from The Quint’s archives to mark the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer.)

Video Editor: Vishal Kumar

Whatever happened to the hole in the ozone layer?

As the world observes International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer on 16 September, here’s a quick look at the status of the dreaded hole and how India is one of the biggest contributors of ozone pollution.

  • First thing first – the ozone hole over Antartica is expected to gradually close, returning to the 1980s level by 2060, revealed a United Nations Study released in November 2018.
  • The study attributed the implementation of the 1987 Montreal Protocol, which imposed a ban on the man-made gases as one of the primary reasons for this recovery.
  • But it is not all good news for India. A recent study – ‘ Boundary Layer Ozone Across the Indian Subcontinent: Who Influences Whom’ – dirty air from India is messing with ozone levels in the neighborhood.
  • Boundary layer ozone or ‘bad’ ozone is the ozone in the lowest part of the atmosphere, where life exists.
  • The bad ozone is a colourless gas that is formed when sunlight strikes man-made pollutants.
  • Breathing air thick with bad ozone, filled with lung-damaging greenhouse gases, will have an adverse impact our health.
  • Ozone pollution leads to breathing problems, cardiovascular effects, long-term exposure risks and poor crop yields, among others.
  • The study points out that as much as 30% of this 'bad' ozone comes from the Indo-Gangetic plain and central India alone.
  • It also reveals that if the emission levels are not controlled, it will lead to over 11 lakh premature deaths in India by 2050.

(With inputs from Quartz India)

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