World Ozone Day 2022: History, Significance, Theme, How to Celebrate, and More

World Ozone Day is celebrated every year on September 16 as a tribute to the signing of the Montreal Protocol on Substances depleting the Ozone Layer. It was on this date in 1987 when this protocol was signed.

 

The day is observed to drive awareness of why, and actions on how, the depletion of the Ozone Layer must be prevented.

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World Ozone Day 2022 Theme

  • "Montreal Protocol@35: global cooperation protecting life on earth" is the theme of World Ozone Day 2022.

World Ozone Day History

  • It was in 1994 when the UN General Assembly declared 16 September as the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer OR World Ozone Day.
  • As mentioned earlier, the date commemorates the signing of the 'Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer which was signed on 16 September 1987.


World Ozone Day Significance

What is the Ozone Layer?

Ozone, chemically represented as O₃, is made up of three atoms of oxygen. Ozone is a pale blue, harmful to life, smelly, and highly reactive gas present high up in the stratosphere. It is this high-up location of ozone that makes it beneficial for us rather than harmful. Had it been present closer to the earth's atmosphere, its greenhouse effect would be harmful to us leading to global warming and other disasters associated with it.

Where it is found?

It is found some 15-35 km above the surface of the Earth. It occurs naturally as well as a man-made product in the Stratosphere (Earth's upper atmosphere) and Troposphere (Earth's lower atmosphere.)


How Ozone Layer protects us?

Ozone reduces the harmful UV radiation, especially the UV-B variant, from reaching the Earth's surface and causing us sunburn, skin cancer and cataracts among many other diseases.

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What if there is no ozone layer?

If this invisible shield is somehow taken away, be ready for immune system impairment for life on land, and phytoplankton productivity interference for ocean life.


Cause of Ozone depletion

  • The main cause of ozone depletion and subsequently the creation of an ozone hole is ODS (ozone-depleting substances).
  • ODS are manufactured chemicals like halocarbon refrigerants, solvents, propellants, and foam-blowing agents.
  • A few examples of ODS are chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), HCFCs, and halons.
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When the depletion of the Ozone Layer was detected?

  • Scientists found it out in the 1970s. And the depletion is increasing by the day.
  • The ozone umbrella has particularly thinned out in polar regions; that is around the south and north poles.


How the World Ozone Day is Celebrated?

Global and National Environmental Groups, Experts, Educators, and Activists hold multiple events such as talks and seminars promoting the benefits of having and protecting the Ozone Layer

What we can do to celebrate it

We can do our bit by doing activities that can minimize ozone layer depletion such as...

  • Use your Air-Conditioners to the minimum. If not possible, then at least maintain them properly
  • Use your refrigerator and freezer responsibly
  • Limit driving
  • Make sure your cleaning products are eco-friendly
  • Avoid using pesticides
  • Reduce air pollution in other ways
  • Eat less meat if you can
  • Buy Local

All these activities reduce the consumption of ODS and thus contribute to the fight against Ozone depletion.

Facts about Montreal Protocol

  • The Montreal Protocol, signed on September 16, 1987, is a global agreement with the objective to protect the ozone layer by reducing the production of substances that are responsible for ozone layer depletion.
  • The Montreal Protocol phases down the consumption and production of the different ozone-depleting substances (ODS) in a step-wise manner, with different timetables for developed and developing countries.
  • Under this treaty, all parties have specific responsibilities related to the phase-out of the different groups of ODS, control of ODS trade, annual reporting of data, national licensing systems to control ODS imports and exports, and other matters.
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