Ozone Depletion and the Montreal Protocol


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Ozone Depletion and the Montreal Protocol

  1. 1. Ozone Depletion and the Montreal Protocol Amit Kumar Das SUBMITTEDDas Amit Kumar TO Assistant Professor Amit Kumar Das Assistant Professor Assistant Professor SUBMITTED BY SUBMITTED BY Anjali Yadav Anjali Kalita AnkitaYadav Ankita Kalita Banribha Syiem Banribha Syiem Biswajit Bhattacharjee
  2. 2. Introduction The atmosphere of the Earth is divided into 5 layers. The layers are: troposphere, stratosphere, mesosphere, thermosphere and exosphere. Ozone is a triatomic form of oxygen (O3) found in Earth’s upper and lower atmosphere. The majority of the atmosphere’s ozone resides in the stratosphere, which extends from 6 miles above the Earth’s surface to 31 miles. Humans rely heavily on the absorption of ultraviolet B rays by the ozone layer because UV-B radiation causes skin cancer and can lead to genetic damage.
  3. 3. Our atmosphere  Troposphere: - The lowest layer (about 15 km from the ground) Contains normal air composed of N2, O2, water vapour, CO2, etc. Temperature decreases with altitude  Stratosphere: - Above the troposphere Temperature increases with altitude Contains a lot of ozone (ozone layer): • • • Found in the stratosphere between 10 - 50km above the ground Protects us from the harmful effects of UV of certain wavelengths Decrease in ozone concentration  Increase in UV-B radiation reaching the earth surface
  4. 4. The ozone layer •The ozone layer was discovered in 1913 by the French physicists Charles Fabry and Henri Buisson. •Ozone layer depletion, is simply the wearing out (reduction) of the amount of ozone in the stratosphere. •The ozone layer absorbs 97–99% of the Sun's medium-frequency ultraviolet light , which otherwise would potentially damage exposed life forms on Earth. •The ozone layer is being destroyed by CFCs and other substances.
  5. 5. Layers of the Earth’s Atmosphere
  6. 6. Ozone formation and depletion • The movement of O2 from ocean to air that began with cyanobacteria continues today, as photosynthesis by microorganisms in the oceans supplies most of the oxygen to the atmosphere. • As O2 dissolved throughout the atmosphere, solar radiation began to split O2, which then recombines to form ozone O3. • Ozone has the unique property of absorbing the frequency of UV that is the most disruptive to the complex molecules of living organisms. • Only after the UV was blocked by ozone could more complex living things begin to use the upper areas of the oceans where there was more sunlight. • The protective ozone layer and high levels of oxygen allowed complex life to evolve on the planet. • Artificial chemicals such as CFCs are depleting the ozone by delivering chlorine high into the atmosphere where each chlorine atom destroys thousands of ozone molecules.
  7. 7. Ozone formation and depletion (cont…) • Chloroflourocarbons (CFCs) are chemicals that were used as propellants in spray cans, blowing agents to make plastic foam products, and as refridgerants. • CFCs, aka Freon, is still used in most refrigeration equipment in homes, offices, cars, and are also used as a cleaning agent in other nations. • A global agreement is reducing the amount of CFC produced, but other chemicals also affect ozone, and the CFC already in the atmosphere will be destroying ozone for decades. • Not all the effects of ozone depletion can be predicted, but it may directly produce greater skin cancer and cataracts, and may indirectly affect all living things on the surface of the planet by making plants sick. • People can help to protect the ozone layer by making sure that the refrigerant from their air conditioners and refrigerators is not leaking, that the Freon is recovered when the machines are serviced, and insist that nonCFC refrigerant be used to recharge the machine or in a new machine, and that all nations stop using CFCs. • People can protect themselves from the effects of ozone depletion by using UV sunblock and avoiding excessive exposure to the sun.
  8. 8. Ozone Depleting Chemicals Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) Halons Methyl bromide Carbon tetrachloride Methyl chloroform Hydrogen chloride
  9. 9. Main uses of ODS Refrigerants (gases) Fire extinguishers Fumigants, pesticides Foam-blowing agents Cleaning solvents Aerosol propellants Air-conditioning systems (and components) Refrigerators/freezers Compressors Vehicles (mobile airconditioning systems) Insulating boards/pipe covers Metered-dose inhalers (medical inhalers
  10. 10. Why is the ozone layer important to life on Earth? • The stratospheric ozone layer completely stops the penetration of UV-C rays and eliminates most of the UV-B rays. • Therefore, the ozone layer protects life on Earth from the harmful effects of solar radiation on a daily basis.
  11. 11. Why control Ozone Depleting Substances? • Harmful to the environment and human health – Ozone (Layer) depletion – Climate Change – Global Warming – Economic impact – Others? • International agreement for their complete phase out • National legal obligation for their phase out • Personal obligation to protect and care for our natural environment – Our generation – Our children’s generation 11
  12. 12. Some Effects of Ozone Layer Depletion Human Health Damages DNA which suppresses immune system resulting in increase in infectious diseases e.g. , Skin Cancer; Eye Cataracts Plants & Trees Reduces crop production, damage to seeds Reduces quality of crops Aquatic Organisms Damage to plankton, aquatic plants, fish larvae, shrimp, crabs Affects marine food chain Materials degrades paints, rubber, wood, & plastics, especially in tropical regions Ground Level Smog Increase in the formation of Ground level ozone as a pollutant High economic cost Damages could be in billions of US dollars
  13. 13. So what might life be like without the ozone layer?
  14. 14. The Ozone Hole
  15. 15. The Ozone Hole (cont…) • An area of the ozone layer where there is very little ozone. • A severe depletion of ozone in a region of the ozone layer, particularly over Antarctica and over the Arctic. • Since the 1970’s the ozone hole has been increasing in size over the Antarctic. • For the first time, in September of 2000, the ozone hole became so large it actually left populated areas of southern Chile fully exposed to the effects of the Sun’s UV rays. • The depletion is caused by the destruction of ozone by CFCs and by other compounds, such as carbon tetrachloride (CCl4 ) and carbon tetrafluoride (CF 4 ).
  16. 16. Hole in the ozone layer October 1979 October 2007
  17. 17. What can be done? • Reduce the use of CFCs • They are already banned in aerosols (1987) • BUT they are still used as refrigerants • Recycle fridges and air conditioning plants
  18. 18. The current situation • The holes developing over the pole suggest that they may be show an improvement • BUT CFC molecules take 30 years to rise up to the stratosphere • The chlorine radicals last a long time • The peak ozone damage was supposed to be in 2000 • Damage could go on another 50 years
  19. 19. Montreal Protocol • Signed 16 September 1987 • Location Montreal • Effective 1 January 1989 if 11 states have ratified by then • Condition ratification by 20 states • Signatories 46 • Ratifiers 197 (all United Nations members, as well as Niue, the Cook Islands, the Holy See and the European Union) • Depositary Secretary-General of the United Nations • Languages Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish.
  20. 20. Montreal Protocol (cont…) • An international agreement, signed by most of the industrialized nations, to substantially reduce the use of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). • The Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer was designed to reduce the production and consumption of ozone depleting substances in order to reduce their abundance in the atmosphere, and thereby protect the earth’s fragile ozone Layer. • The protocol set limits on the production of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), halons, and related substances that release chlorine or bromine to the ozone layer of the atmosphere.
  21. 21. What Is Being Done to Counter the Effects of Ozone Depletion? • Montreal Protocol (adopted in 1987) – panel of experts was formed to investigate substances responsible for hole formation – Established policies that prevent future use of certain types of chemicals – Stipulated that the production and consumption of compounds contributing towards depletion of ozone in the stratosphere were to be phased out by the year 2000 (2005 for methylchloroform)
  22. 22. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) • Responsible for enforcing the Montreal Protocol within the U.S. – The EPA has several programs in place; • Regulating and enforcing on-road car and truck airconditioning systems • Regulating most air-conditioning and refrigeration appliances • Technician certification • Service equipment
  23. 23. INDIA’S COMMITMENT TO THE MONTREAL PROTOCOL  19th June 1991 : India became a Party to the Vienna convention.  17th September 1992 : India became a Party to the Montreal Protocol and ratified the London Amendment.  3rd March 2003 : India ratified Copenhagen Amendment (1992), Montreal Amendment (1997) and Beijing Amendment (1999).  November 1993 : India’s Country Programme was prepared.  January 2006 : India’s Country Programme was updated. 23
  24. 24. INSTITUTIONAL FRAMEWORK IN INDIA  Ozone Cell is established under the Ministry of Environment & Forests for undertaking activities relating to implementation of Vienna Convention and Montreal Protocol.  Empowered Steering Committee (ESC) has been constituted in the MOEF with the approval of Cabinet. It is the apex body Chaired by Secretary (E&F) to take policy decisions and to oversee the overall implementation of the Montreal Protocol in India.  The following two Standing Committees have also been constituted set up to provide assistance on specific implementation issues to the Empowered Steering Committee (ESC) : 1. Technology and Finance Standing Committee. 2. Monitoring and Evaluation Committee. 24
  25. 25. Signs of Recovery??? There have been some signs of recovery – 1997 satellite showed a decline of several known ozone-depleting gases – Satellite images show some slowing down of ozone loss However…. Antarctica - Dec. 2005 Recovery is slow
  26. 26. Images of Antarctica Taken Indicate A Slow Recovery
  27. 27. Results to date • The Montreal Protocol is working. There is clear evidence of a decrease in the atmospheric burden of ozonedepleting substances in the lower atmosphere and in the stratosphere; • Some early signs of the expected stratospheric ozone recovery are also evident. • Furthermore, if the Parties were to eliminate all emissions of ozone depleting substances soon after 2006, it would advance by about 15 years (from around 2050 to 2035) the 27 global ozone layer recovery to pre-1980 levels.
  28. 28. Montreal Protocol provided dual protection: to Ozone layer and to Climate change  Climate benefits already achieved larger than Kyoto Protocol targets for 2008-2012 Potential for additional climate benefits significant compared to Kyoto 28
  29. 29. Without the Montreal Protocol by 2050 • Ozone depletion would have reached to at least 50 % in the northern hemisphere’s mid latitudes • 70% in the southern mid latitudes • Doubling on the UV-B radiation reaching earth’s surface • Estimated increases of – 19 million more cases of non-melanoma cancer – 1.5 million more cases of melanoma cancer – 130 million more eye cataracts 29
  30. 30. Conclusion • The Montreal Protocol has been called the most successful international environmental agreement to date. It has been hailed as an example of exceptional international co-operation. • In a 2001 report, NASA found the ozone thinning over Antarctica had remained the same thickness for the previous three years.
  31. 31. Conclusion (cont…….) • The most recent scientific evaluation in the year 2006 of the effects of the Montreal Protocol states, "The Montreal Protocol is working. There is clear evidence of a decrease in the atmospheric burden of ozone depleting substances and some early signs of stratospheric ozone recovery." The Former Secretary of the United Nations, Kofi Annan has been quoted as saying that "perhaps the single most successful international agreement to date has been the “Montreal Protocol". It has been ratified by 196 states.