The ozone layer is very difficult to repair
because it is an accumulation of gases in the
sky -- it's not something we can physically
touch to repair. Some materials that were used in
refrigerators and aerosols caused big damage to
the ozone layer before scientists realized what
was happening. On the bright side, once scientists
discovered what was happening it was
internationally agreed to stop using these the
damaging materials and the ozone layer stopped
Big masses like the ozone layer change over such
long time scales that it could be another 50 years
before it is recovered, but we use satellites to
track it's progress and it has definitely been
So the big plan to help it recover is to stop
using the materials that were hurting it and let
it recover, and so far it has been effective.
This is a great question. The short answer is that
scientists and engineers have been working
successfully to reduce ozone damage for decades!
Ozone is important, because it blocks most of
the Sun's ultraviolet (UV) light from reaching us
(UV light is what gives us sunburns, skin cancer,
and damages our eyes). The problem is that when
chemicals that we make containing chlorine get
into ozone layer of the atmosphere, they break
down ozone molecules. Fortunately, we recognized
that this was a problem in the 1970's, and
countries (including the USA) started to ban the
use of the chemicals that were causing the most
damage. Then in 1987, 197 countries from around
the world signed the Montreal Protocol, which set
out a formal plan to reduce the production and use
even more chemicals that react with ozone.
Although there are still many human-made
chlorine-containing substances that reach the
ozone layer, this international collaboration has
greatly slowed down the damage to the ozone.
We are fortunate that the Earth's ozone repairs
itself naturally, so the best and fastest way to
repair the ozone is to find/invent new chemicals
that can replace the harmful chlorine-bearing
ones, and this is exactly what we have been/still
are doing. The challenge is that the new chemicals
need to be affordable, because the harmful ones
are used in many important things that we need in
Hope this was helpful!
fire-extinguishers, refrigeration, solvents,
propellants (high-pressure gases used in spray
cans), and more.
The plan is already in motion and has been for
some decades. Basically it consists of getting
unnatural halogens (mainly chlorine) out of the
air. Since we don't use freon anymore, this is
happening through natural processes, and the ozone
layer is recovering.
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