Global Efforts Pay Off: Scientific Insights Into a Key Environmental Victory

Earth Atmosphere Sunshine Concept

A recent study published in Nature Climate Change demonstrates a significant decline in atmospheric levels of hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), which deplete the ozone layer and contribute to global warming. This progress is a result of the Montreal Protocol, which has successfully regulated the production and use of ozone-depleting substances since 1987.

New research indicates a decline in hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) in the atmosphere, confirming the effectiveness of the Montreal Protocol in regulating substances that harm the ozone layer and contribute to global warming.

Significant progress in reducing atmospheric concentrations of chemicals harmful to Earth’s ozone layer has been revealed by a new study. It confirms the success of historic regulations limiting their production.

The findings show for the first time a notable decline in the atmospheric levels of potent ozone-depleting substances (ODS), called hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs). These HCFCs are also harmful greenhouse gases, so a reduction should also lessen global warming. The study was led by the University of Bristol and published in the journal Nature Climate Change today (June 11).

Achievements Under the Montreal Protocol

The Montreal Protocol was agreed to internationally in 1987 to introduce controls on the production and usage of ODS, which were once widely used in the manufacture of hundreds of products, including refrigerators, aerosol sprays, foams, and packaging.

HCFCs were developed as replacements for chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). While the production of CFCs has been banned globally since 2010, HCFC production and usage are still being phased out.

High-Altitude Integrated Carbon Observation System (ICOS) Jungfraujoch Station in Switzerland

This photo shows the high-altitude Integrated Carbon Observation System (ICOS) Jungfraujoch station in Switzerland, which was used to make measurements in this research. Credit:

Ongoing Efforts and Future Outlook

Lead author Dr. Luke Western, Marie Curie Research Fellow at the University’s School of Chemistry, said: “The results are very encouraging. They underscore the great importance of establishing and sticking to international protocols.

“Without the Montreal Protocol, this success would not have been possible, so it’s a resounding endorsement of multilateral commitments to combat stratospheric ozone depletion, with additional benefits in tackling human-induced climate change.”

Ozone Hole Extension 2023

Measurements from the Copernicus Sentinel-5P satellite show 2023’s ozone hole over the Antarctic. Credit: Contains modified Copernicus Sentinel data (2023)/processed by DLR

Impact on Climate Change and Protocol Success

The international study shows the total amount of ozone-depleting chlorine contained in all HCFCs peaked in 2021. Because these compounds are also potent greenhouse gases, their contribution to climate change also peaked in that year. This maximum occurred five years before the most recent predictions. Although the drop between 2021 and 2023 was less than 1%, it still shows HCFC emissions are heading in the right direction.

Dr. Western said: “Their production is currently being phased out globally, with a completion date slated for 2040. In turn, these HCFCs are being replaced by non-ozone-depleting hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and other compounds. By enforcing strict controls and promoting the adoption of ozone-friendly alternatives, the protocol has successfully curbed the release and levels of HCFCs into the atmosphere.”

Advancements in Measurement and Environmental Monitoring

The results rely on high-precision measurements at globally distributed atmospheric observatories, using data from the Advanced Global Atmospheric Gases Experiment (AGAGE) and the National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration (NOAA).

“We use highly sensitive measurement techniques and thorough protocols to ensure the reliability of these observations,” said co-author Dr. Martin Vollmer, an atmospheric scientist at the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology (EMPA).

Co-author Dr. Isaac Vimont, a research scientist at the NOAA in the United States, added: “This study highlights the critical need to be vigilant and proactive in our environmental monitoring, ensuring other controlled ozone-depleting and greenhouse gases follow a similar trend which will help to protect the planet for future generations.”

Reference: “A decrease in radiative forcing and equivalent effective chlorine from hydrochlorofluorocarbons” by Luke M. Western, John S. Daniel, Martin K. Vollmer, Scott Clingan, Molly Crotwell, Paul J. Fraser, Anita L. Ganesan, Brad Hall, Christina M. Harth, Paul B. Krummel, Jens Mühle, Simon O’Doherty, Peter K. Salameh, Kieran M. Stanley, Stefan Reimann, Isaac Vimont, Dickon Young, Matt Rigby, Ray F. Weiss, Ronald G. Prinn and Stephen A. Montzka, 11 June 2024, Nature Climate Change.
DOI: 10.1038/s41558-024-02038-7

5 Comments on "Global Efforts Pay Off: Scientific Insights Into a Key Environmental Victory"

  1. Clyde Spencer | June 11, 2024 at 10:23 am | Reply

    “New research indicates a decline in hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) in the atmosphere, confirming the effectiveness of the Montreal Protocol in regulating substances that harm the ozone layer and contribute to global warming.”

    One should not confuse a change in a presumed proxy for a problem with a reduction in the actual problem. The whole point about the concern over both HCFCs and ozone is that there is a theoretical risk of elevated skin cancer and cataracts because of increased ultraviolet (UV) radiation. Where is the evidence that there has been a decrease in skin cancers and cataracts? Is there even any evidence that the intensity and duration of UV reaching the surface has declined? The illustration of the extent of the 2023 Spring ‘Ozone Hole,’ shows one of the largest since we have been monitoring Antarctica. Indeed, over the last few years, the extent and ‘depth’ of the so-called ‘hole,’ has been comparable to the 1990s, right after the implementation of the Montreal Protocol. As to ‘Global Warming,’ the complaint is that 2023 was the warmest year since being measured; obviously, the reduced HCFCs have had little or no impact on warming!

    “Although the drop between 2021 and 2023 was less than 1%, it still shows HCFC emissions are heading in the right direction.”

    A change of “less than 1%” over two years is meaningless when the annual changes are as large as they are. It is little more than wishful thinking. Look at what happened to the ‘Ozone Hole’ in 2019, shortly before the ODS peak. [ ]

    The claimed “pay off” is less than one can expect in Vegas, where the house always wins.

  2. Mintas Lanxor | June 11, 2024 at 12:30 pm | Reply

    Little-known fact: Clyde Spencer was working for a freon-manufacturing company when he was laid off because of a precipitous decline in demand for this product. Ever since, he became a bitter science denier and took up smoking.

    • Clyde Spencer | June 11, 2024 at 4:21 pm | Reply

      Little-known fact: Mintas Lanxor has a strange sense of humor because he/she/it can’t tell the difference between fact and fiction.

      Is there anything I wrote that you can demonstrate was not factual?

  3. 09332197646 Dr aghakasiri staronomy world | June 12, 2024 at 11:02 am | Reply

    I read this page about x-rays and deadly UV rays, I have to say my eyes watered, but that was from sitting at the computer all day, it happened over a long period of time, not all at once. I was a child on a two-story roof. I used to fly kites in the city of Wahidiya and we were on the roof from morning to night and the sun was very hot and the weather was hot in the summer and I was under the sun, but my eyes didn’t get cataracts until I was 40 years old because I was behind the computer for 20 years. Pearl let’s skip this topic, I want to talk about the earth, which I already talked about, hello to the great researchers and scientists and professors of astronomy and great physicists of the world in America, NASA made life easy for humans in this field . Planet. Let me repeat something that not everyone thinks about and has forgotten, and those secrets are now left underground by humans who lived tens of millions of years ago. They left us underground and on the ground. I said that there are continents in the shape of the earth, which I said is in the shape of a man, and the continent of Africa is the head of a rhinoceros, which exactly shows the country of Soma, the horn of a rhinoceros, and there is an arrow under the hand of an Arab who wants to grab the horn of a rhinoceros with his machete, but the country of Kharton And Eritrea is in the shape of a head. The elephant and the donkey are the elephants who took the woman’s hand, but the elephant prevents the man from taking the man’s hand with his trunk and nose, which is the same as the donkey, so that he cannot hurt the camel’s chest and take the camel. Elephant’s ivory, but human’s, since a few kilometers of soil covered the entire surface of this planet, in the seas and on land, fish and aquatic animals were turned into oil due to the impact of several small systems and buried under two thousand meters of soil. The solar bodies that collided and the sun also collided and caused the destruction of civilization and history of thirty thousand years of earthlings, and all the details of the maps drawn from the images created by humans have not been completely destroyed, but why scientists about it Secrets and those secrets think and I have already hidden them, please accept. You scientists did not give any message about this issue that I said and I said that I must have an invitation to come to Canada. I discovered an interesting point in the word secrets. Farsi words are asrar and its opposite is asrar. Let’s assume it is above the letter A, but on the other hand, there are secrets that make a person small, and I think I will not hesitate to accept or not ask this discovery of ours and our God. Send me an invitation, because it humbles and humbles a person. which hesitates and begs, in any case I know you accept me as the administrator of this website and thank you for showing my comments 22:22

    • Clyde Spencer | June 13, 2024 at 10:23 am | Reply

      “… I know you accept me as the administrator of this website and thank you for showing my comments 22:22”

      That is a strange comment. Is this a mistranslation because English is a second language for you?

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