September 16 is celebrated as World Ozone Day every year . World Ozone day 2017 is special as it marks the 30th Anniversary of the Montreal Protocol. The UN’s Ozone Secretariat launched into a communication campaign ahead of World Ozone Day 2017. #OzoneHeroes was launched on September 14th in a bid to create awareness of the major achievements of the Montreal Protocol in its efforts to preserve the ozone layer and protect the world’s climate.
The UN’s Ozone Secretariat aims to highlight the successes of the Montreal Protocol and its impacts. Under the Kigali Amendment of 2016, the Montreal Protocol also has a fresh mandate to reduce the emissions of fluorohydrocarbons that cause climate change.
The United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution 49/114 on 23rd January 1995, which proclaims 16th September as the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer, to commemorate the signing of the Montreal Protocol on the Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer which was signed on 16th September, 1987.
India become party to the Montreal Protocol in June 1992 and prepared the country programme in 1993 for phasing out the ozone depleting substances. Further, various policy measures including National Awareness Campaign have also been adopted for smooth implementation of provisions of the Montreal Protocol. In accordance with the United Nations resolution, the Ozone Cell, Government of India has been celebrating the International Ozone Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer since 1995 at the national and state level.
The ozone layer is a shield of ozone gas in the Earth’s atmosphere that protects the Earth from harmful ultraviolet radiation.
However, the ozone layer is also depleting due to massive emissions of greenhouse gases due to anthropogenic causes. On World Ozone Day 2017, it is important to revisit the world commitment to move towards a phasing out of the use of ozone depleting substances and how these efforts can contribute towards the global efforts to combat climate change.
It is important to remember how the ozone layer has so far protected life on earth and ecosystems from the harmful effects of the Sun’s harmful ultraviolet radiation from reaching the Earth.
SCIAMACHY (SCanning Imaging Absorption SpectroMeter for Atmospheric CartograpHY) is one of ten instruments aboard of ESA’s ENVIronmental SATellite, ENVISAT. It is a satellite spectrometer designed to measure sunlight, transmitted, reflected and scattered by the earth’s atmosphere or surface in the ultraviolet, visible and near infrared wavelength region (240 nm – 2380 nm) at moderate spectral resolution (0.2 nm – 1.5 nm). SCIAMACHY thus provides unique information about the ozone layer – including the ozone hole over Antarctica, and shows first indications for its stabilization in response to the measures enacted by the Montreal Protocol and its amendments.
Recovery of the ozone layer, however, has not yet been unequivocally established. Remarkable large annual variations of the ozone hole over the Antarctic and Arctic regions are observed by SCIAMACHY, which are related to changes in atmospheric dynamics (i.e. transport and wind system). A striking example is the first ever observation of a break-up of the ozone hole in September 2002.