NASA have announced the the hole in the ozone layer, first discovered thirty years ago, has been effectively cured.
The discovery of the hole in May 1985 become a global talking-point which raised the profile of many environmental groups and green lobbyists – which has had a huge impact on government policies around the globe to this day.
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Now, however, NASA has said that the hole is shrinking rapidly and will be extinct by the end of the century.
Wired reports that the hole – currently 12 million miles wide – will be eight million miles wide within three decades, and will have disappeared by the end of the century.
John Shanklin of the British Antarctic Survey – one of the scientists who discovered it – said it was a cautionary tale about how rapidly and severely we can damage the environment.
‘Yes, an international treaty was established fairly quickly to deal with the ozone hole.
‘But really the main point about its discovery was that it shows how incredibly rapidly we can produce major changes to our atmosphere and how long it takes for nature to recover from them.’