Articles 

World Ozone Day 2013: A Healthy Atmosphere, The Future We Want!

By Dr. Konthoujam Khelchandra Singh

The United Nations' (UN) International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer is celebrated on 16 September each year. This date has been designated by the United Nations General Assembly in its resolution 49/114, to commemorate the signing of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer in 1987. This commemoration around the world offers an opportunity to focus attention and action at the global, regional and national levels on the protection of the ozone layer. The theme for this year’s celebration “A healthy atmosphere, the future we want.” emphasises the extraordinary collaborations and environmental benefits achieved by the world governments through the operation of Montreal Protocol.  The Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer and its Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer are dedicated to the protection of the earth’s ozone layer. Altogether, 197 countries have ratified the treaties in United Nations history, and have, to date, enabled reductions of over 97% of all global consumption of controlled ozone depleting substances.

On this day classroom activities that focus on topics related to the ozone layer, climate change and ozone depletion are organized to increase the awareness levels were usually held in different schools, colleges etc. Some teachers use educational packages from the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) that have been specifically tailored to address topics about the earth's ozone layer. Other activities that are organized by different community groups, individuals, schools and local organizations across the world include: the promotion of ozone friendly products; special programs and events on saving the ozone layer; the distribution of the UNEP's public awareness posters to be used for events centered on the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer; and the distribution of awards to those who worked hard to protect the earth's ozone layer.

Ozone is a gas that is naturally present in our atmosphere. Each ozone molecule contains three atoms of oxygen and is denoted chemically as O3. Ozone is found primarily in two regions of the atmosphere. About 10% of atmospheric ozone is in the troposphere, the region closest to Earth (from the surface to about 10–16 Km (6–10 miles)). The remaining ozone (about 90%) resides in the stratosphere between the top of the troposphere and about 50 Km (31 miles) altitude. The large amount of ozone in the stratosphere is often referred to as the “ozone layer”. Ozone is formed throughout the atmosphere in multistep chemical processes that require sunlight. In the stratosphere, the process begins with an oxygen molecule (O2) being broken apart by ultraviolet radiation from the sun. In the lower atmosphere (troposphere), ozone is formed by a different set of chemical reactions that involve naturally occurring gases and those from pollution sources.

The distribution of total ozone over the Earth varies with location on timescales that range from daily to seasonal. The variations are caused by large-scale movements of stratospheric air and the chemical production and destruction of ozone. Total ozone is generally lowest at the equator and highest in Polar Regions. The amount of ozone in the atmosphere is measured by instruments on the ground and carried aloft on balloons, aircraft, and satellites. Some instruments measure ozone locally by continuously drawing air samples into a small detection chamber. Other instruments measure ozone remotely over long distances by using ozone’s unique optical absorption or emission properties.

On the occasion of the observation of World Ozone day 2013, let me highlight some of the key achievements of the Montreal Protocol to date as released by the UNEP, Ozone secretariat. 1) Truly global participation: As noted above the Montreal Protocol is the only treaty ever to achieve universal ratification; it thus demonstrates the world’s commitment to ozone protection and, more broadly, global environmental protection. 2) Healing the ozone layer: Results from continuing global observations have confirmed that atmospheric levels of key ozone depleting substances are going down and it is believed that with continued, full implementation of the Protocol’s provisions the ozone layer should return to pre-1980 levels by the middle of this century. 3) Achieving major reduction goals: By 2010 virtually all Parties had reported compliance with their phase out obligations in respect of CFCs, halons, carbon tetrachloride, methyl chloroform, n-propyl bromide and chlorobromomethane. As a consequence, the Protocol has now led to the phase-out of 98 per cent of the historic levels of production and consumption of ozone-depleting substances. 4) Supporting developing countries: With the assistance of the Multilateral Fund for the Implementation of the Montreal Protocol developing countries had, by mid-2011, permanently phased out over 260,000 tonnes of ozone depleting substances that had been used to produce various products. 5) High rates of compliance: Taking into account all parties to the Protocol and all their phase-out commitments, the parties have achieved a compliance rate of over 98 per cent. Further, in the process of phasing-out many countries, both developed and developing, have met their phase-out targets well ahead of schedule. 6) Health benefits: Controls implemented under the Montreal Protocol have enabled the global community to avoid millions of cases of fatal skin cancer and tens of millions of cases of non-fatal skin cancer and eye cataracts. The United States estimates that by the year 2065 more than 6.3 million skin cancer deaths will have been avoided in that country alone and that efforts to protect the ozone layer will have saved it an estimated US$4.2 trillion in healthcare costs over the period1990–2065. In addition, in 2011 the United States Environmental Protection Agency estimated that more than 22 million Americans born between 1985 and 2100 would avoid suffering from cataracts thanks to the Montreal Protocol. 7) Climate benefits: The Protocol has also delivered substantial climate benefits. Because most ozone depleting chemicals are also greenhouse gases, the Protocol has already averted greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to more than 135 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide. These significant reductions make the Montreal Protocol one of the prime contributors to the fight against global warming

The challenges ahead for Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer are: While the results of the Protocol to date are impressive, the fact remains that a great deal of additional action will be essential to ensure that the ozone layer remains safe for this and future generations. Most important, the Parties to the Protocol will have to maintain their momentum to complete the job. Indeed, science tells us that this is essential to ensure the protection of the ozone layer for this and future generations. This work will not be easy. The continuing work under the Protocol includes the phasing out of hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), which also contribute to global warming; the environmentally friendly phase-out of this group of chemicals is likely to prove a real challenge for both developed and developing 11countries. On the other hand, this phase out presents real opportunities for the Parties to achieve both ozone and climate benefits, and also great advances in energy efficiency. Further, a widely used alternative to HCFCs is Hydrochloroflurocarbons or HFCs, some Parties have formally proposed that these substances (which are currently among the basket of gasses included in the Kyoto Protocol) be brought under the Montreal Protocol phase-out regime.

In addition to the phase-out of HCFCs, the Parties must complete the phase-out of methyl bromide. While much progress has been made to phase-out the use of this once widely used agricultural fumigant, it is apparent that the final phase-out will not be easy and will require sustained effort from the global community. Finally, on the chemical side, it will become more urgent to find alternatives for the remaining use of halons in new airframes and military equipment as stocks of halons begin their inevitable decrease over the coming years. Key questions also remain about how to deal, in an environmentally sensitive manner, with the very large banks of ozone-depleting substances currently in use systems or inventories. These substantial stocks will, unless acted upon, eventually be emitted over the coming decades. Finally, in relation to chemical controls, the Parties to the Protocol must be on the lookout for new chemicals with the ability to deplete the ozone layer, and new issues which could threaten the global communities hard won gains. In that regard, it is important to remember that many had believed the ozone issue to be solved by the original 1987 Montreal Protocol agreement, only to find a short time later that the threat was significantly greater than originally anticipated. While many challenges remain, it is hoped that the continuing efforts to protect the ozone layer will move forward in the same spirit of dedication, cooperation and innovation that characterized the initial efforts, and that the Protocol will go on to achieve its goal of protecting the ozone layer for time to come.

(Author is an Assistant Professor, Department of Environmental Science, PUC Campus, Mizoram University, Aizawl-796001, can be contacted at: kkhelchandrasingh@gmail.com)

17-Sep-2013 at 12:43 AM | 0 Comments


Comments 

Post your Comments

Interest :
Address :

Other News 

State fire service joins nation in paying homage to Martyrs

IMPHAL, April 15: The Manipur Fire Service Department kicked off a week long ‘Fire Service Day’ yesterday under the theme “Fire Prevention is the Best Insurance” at its head quarter, Imphal. The inaugural function was attended by chief secretar .....

16-Apr-2014 at 01:59 AM | 0 Comments

Rajya Sabha MP ends Congress campaign in Inner constituency

IMPHAL, April 15: The last day of campaigning for the Manipur Inner Parliamentary Constituency election saw Rajya Sabha MP from the state Abdul Salam campaigned for his party Congress candidate Dr Th Meinya at Keirao which is a minority dominated area. .....

16-Apr-2014 at 01:56 AM | 0 Comments

DEO notice on bribery during poll

IMPHAL, April 15: The Office of the District Election Officer/Deputy Commissioner, Imphal East District, Manipur, said in a press release that any person giving or accepting bribe or threatens any candidate or elector or any person during election proces .....

16-Apr-2014 at 01:54 AM | 0 Comments

“No provision of postal ballots for MoU signatories”

IMPHAL, April 15: Unlike cadres of outfits under the Suspension of Operation with the governments who were provided with postal ballots in a first of its kind exercise in the country during the April 9 Outer Manipur Parliamentary Constituency election, ca .....

16-Apr-2014 at 02:01 AM | 0 Comments

Demise condoled

IMPHAL April 15: The National Association of Fishermen, Manipur State Unit said in a press release that a condolence meeting in connection with the demise of Khuraijam Chandra Singh, Ex-Joint Director, Fishery Department, Government of Manipur and Advisor .....

16-Apr-2014 at 01:53 AM | 0 Comments

Campaigning in inner constituency concludes

8,07859 voters in 1256 PS to decide fate of 8 candidates IMPHAL, April 15: All campaigning for candidates for the Inner Manipur Parliamentary Constituency seat concluded this afternoon at 4pm, said chief electoral officer, Manipur O Nabakishore today .....

16-Apr-2014 at 02:03 AM | 0 Comments

RPF clarifies

IMPHAL, Apr 15: The Revolutionary People’s Front in a press release made clarification on the news item published on April 6 last on the arrest of Khuraijam Jenish alias Inaocha alias Jenit (33), son of late Kh Tomba, a residence of Chingmeirong Rongmei .....

16-Apr-2014 at 01:58 AM | 0 Comments

Political Lottery, With Silence

The campaign for the Inner parliamentary constituency of the 16th Lok Sabha election ends on April 15 evening. This is to give a breathing space to the voters, a day ahead of the election. In short, the voters are given time to contemplate before making a .....

16-Apr-2014 at 02:06 AM | 0 Comments

JIRIBAM CSOs convenes meeting

JIRIBAM, April 15: Civil Society Organisations of Jiribam sub division on Tuesday convened a meeting at Jiribam Higher Secondary on the issue of increasing population of Boroikhal villagers who have fled from their village. A relief camp has been opene .....

16-Apr-2014 at 01:52 AM | 0 Comments

Gun shot leaves two injured in CCpur

LAMKA, Apr 15: Around five unidentified persons fired upon two individuals from automatic rifle and pistol around 6.45pm today at T Champhain Village, CCpur injuring both. The two have been identified as Alexander Haokip, 24 son of Nganmpau Haokip and .....

16-Apr-2014 at 01:59 AM | 0 Comments

JIRIBAM CSOs convenes meeting

JIRIBAM, April 15: Civil Society Organisations of Jiribam sub division on Tuesday convened a meeting at Jiribam Higher Secondary on the issue of increasing population of Boroikhal villagers who have fled from their village. A relief camp has been opene .....

16-Apr-2014 at 01:54 AM | 0 Comments

Tri-colour’s first hoisting commemorated at Moirang

MOIRANG, April15: The 70th Anniversary of Flag Hoisting Day to commemorate the first hoisting of the Indian tri-colour of Free India at Moirang was held yesterday at the INA Martyrs’ Memorial Complex. The programme was jointly organised by Department .....

16-Apr-2014 at 01:55 AM | 0 Comments

Devastating fire leaves man with 80 percent burn injuries

IMPHAL, April 15: A blazing fire ignited while transferring kerosene at a leased property used as an oil storage area by an individual left a man with 80 percent burn injuries. The property lies on the eastern side of SAI-NER Complex, Tera Khuraijam Le .....

16-Apr-2014 at 02:02 AM | 1 Comments

Electricity employees condemn bomb attack

IMPHAL April 15: The Manipur Electricity Employees’ Union has said in a press release that the bomb attack on MK Presho Shimray, Deputy Speaker, Manipur Legislative Assembly on April 9 by miscreants is a very unfortunate and horrifying incident. Furthe .....

16-Apr-2014 at 01:54 AM | 0 Comments

School management disapproves MLA’s statement

IMPHAL April 15: The School Management and Development Committee Association said in a press release it strongly condemn the ‘false statement’ made by the Wangjing Tentha Constituency MLA’s education nominee T Bimol Singh regarding the use of funds .....

16-Apr-2014 at 01:53 AM | 0 Comments

“INC manifesto a complete let down for the public”

IMPHAL, Apr 15: The Indian National Congress has eluded Manipur specific issues from including in its manifesto, said director Human Rights Alert (HRA), Babloo Loitongbam today. Addressing media persons today at the HRA office, Babloo said there is no .....

16-Apr-2014 at 02:00 AM | 0 Comments

Our unique culture needs to be protected from globalisation: Gov

IMPHAL, April 15: The Manipur State Kala Akademi, today at the CK auditorium, Palace Compound, presented its Akademi Awards at a glittering ceremony. Governor VK Duggal gave away the awards for 2011 to different artist and literati for their outstanding c .....

16-Apr-2014 at 02:02 AM | 0 Comments

Dark day observation to be held

IMPHAL April 15: The International Peace and Social Advancement (IPSA) has said in a press release that the 16th Dark Day Observation will be held on April 27 at 9 am at the Iboyaima Sumang-Lila Shanglen in remembrance of those who had sacrificed their li .....

16-Apr-2014 at 01:52 AM | 0 Comments

JAC boycotts election

IMPHAL April 15: Locals of Leimaram, Heinoubok and Waroi ching under Oinam Assembly constituency have today resolved to stay away from the upcoming Lok Shaba election during a meeting. The meeting was attended by the village chief and elders. Gayatri .....

16-Apr-2014 at 01:55 AM | 0 Comments

BJP is a sectarian party, creating problems, says Ibobi

IMPHAL, April 15: The Congress today continued its tirade against the BJP by branding the party as sectarian. Addressing an election rally yesterday at UMO ground Yairipok, the chief minister had asked the people against voting for the BJP while brandi .....

16-Apr-2014 at 01:57 AM | 0 Comments

All set for general strike: Maoist

IMPHAL, April 15: The Maoist Communist Party Manipur has in a press release said that preparation for the April 16 general strike called against the misuse of Local Area Development fund of the MP Dr Th Meinya Singh for ten years all set ready and further .....

16-Apr-2014 at 01:58 AM | 0 Comments

KNF(N) clarifies on arrested individuals

IMPHAL, April: The KNF (N) has claimed that the two persons reportedly arrested by the security as their outfit, as was published on April 13, 2014 are not related to the outfit. It said, Angom Santa of Phaiyang Chingkhunou and Angom Tomba Singh of Pha .....

16-Apr-2014 at 01:57 AM | 0 Comments

Headlines | Editorials | Brief News | Sports News | Articles | Letters | Gallery | Contact Us

Copyright © 2005 Imphal Free Press. Website Developed by : The Amusers & maintained by Imphal Free Press

This script took 1.232519 seconds to load.