Towards a low emissions future

Healing the ozone layer

Working collaboratively with governments and industry, Refrigerants Australia initiatives can claim some credit for having reversed the attack on the ozone layer, to the degree that the ozone hole over Australia and the Antarctic is on the mend and expects to be healed by 2050.

Emissions have dropped by more than 90% since 1988 and in more recent years, emissions were declining at the rate of 7% every year. This is a remarkable achievement, considering the global popularity of CFC12, an ozone destroying refrigerant that was the most commonly used refrigerant in air conditioners and refrigerators.

The CSIRO explains that each year, during the southern spring, a hole appears in the ozone layer above Antarctica. This is due to the extremely cold temperatures in the winter stratosphere (above 10km altitude) that allow byproducts of CFCs and related gases to be converted into forms that destroy ozone when the sunlight returns in spring.

As ozone-destroying gases are phased out, the annual ozone hole is generally getting smaller – a rare success story for international environmentalism.

Source: CSIROscope September 2017