The world is observing ‘International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone” today on September 16 that is a wake-up call for all of us to save the Earth’s blanket.
World ozone day is observed on 16 September every year since 1995. This day is being observed to invite the attention of global fraternity towards the fast depleting ozone layer. This year’s theme of World Ozone Day 2013 is “A Healthy Atmosphere, the Future We Want”.
The ozone layer in the Earth’s atmosphere absorbs Sun’s Ultraviolet radiations and other harmful rays. It is mainly found in the lower portion of the stratosphere from approximately 20 to 30 kilometers above the Earth.
The ozone layer was discovered in 1913 by the French physicists Charles Fabry and Henri Buisson. Its properties were explored in detail by the British meteorologist GMB Dobson.
The United Nations Environment Program in 1994 decided to sensitize the world community on significance of this issue. Since 1994, the day has been celebrated each year on September 16 to commemorate the date of the signing of the 1987 Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer.
The Montreal Protocol is considered a successful treaty, as countries around the world joined forces to phase out chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), the original ozone-depletion compounds, by 2010. The CFCs were replaced by HCFCs which later turned out to be equally harmful to the ozone layer, leading to revised objectives for the protocol.
The protocol, signed by around 190 countries, requires its member states to completely phase out consumption and production of HCFCs by 2030.
Recently, the leaders attending the Group of 20 summit of the world’s biggest economies in St. Petersburg, Russia, agreed to phase down the use of certain potent greenhouse gases known to damage the climate.
The White House cited the agreement to cooperate on phasing down the use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), gases used in refrigerators, air conditioners and some industrial equipment, as one of the “most significant agreements” of the summit.