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Achievements in Stratospheric Ozone Protection

Photo from the cover of spd annual report final
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EPA Publication EPA-430-R-07-001
April 26, 2007

11x17 Poster of Ozone Protection Timeline

Excerpt: Countries around the world are phasing out the production and use of chemicals that destroy ozone in the Earth's upper atmosphere. The United States has already phased out production of those substances having the greatest potential to deplete the ozone layer. At the same time, we have ensured that businesses and consumers have alternatives that are safer for the ozone layer than the chemicals they replace. These vital measures are helping to protect human health and the global environment.

With our many partners, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proud to have been part of a broad coalition that developed and implemented flexible, innovative, and effective approaches to ensure stratospheric ozone layer protection. These partnerships have fundamentally changed the way we do business, spurring the development of new technologies that not only protect the ozone layer but, in many cases, also save energy and reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. Together, we continue to look for alternatives and technologies that are as ozone- and climate-friendly as possible.

This report covers the important and substantial achievements of the people, programs, and organizations that are working to protect the Earth's ozone layer . As impressive as these accomplishments are, our work is not done. Even though we have reduced or eliminated the use of many ozone-depleting substances, some still remain. Additionally, since ozone-depleting substances persist in the air for long periods of time, the past use of these substances continues to affect the ozone layer today. We must also continue to ensure that the alternatives being brought to the market support the country's long-term environmental goals in a cost-effective manner.

Global Ozone Depletion and Recovery

The ozone layer has not grown thinner since 1998 over most of the world, and it appears to be recovering because of reduced emissions of ozone-depleting substances. Antarctic ozone is projected to return to pre-1980 levels by 2060 to 2075.

For more information, please see the complete report (PDF) (40 pp, 4.5M).

NASA’s Ozone Hole Watch

Figure 1

Source: NASA's Ozone Hole Watch Web Site, Sept. 24, 2006

Graphic of projected range of Ozone atmospheric concentrations as they deviate from 1980 levels. Graphic also shows observed values through 2004

Figure 2

Source: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change/Technology and Economic Assessment Panel. Special Report on Safeguarding the Ozone Layer and the Global Climate System: Issues Related to Hydrofluorocarbons and Perfluorocarbons Exit EPA disclaimer (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005.) Figure SPM-3.

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