The ozone layer that shields life from cancer-causing solar rays is slowly recovering، a UN study has revealed، as the Daily Mail said.
A hole was found in the ozone layer above Antarctica in the 1980s as a result of harmful chemicals being pumped into the atmosphere.
This has allowed large amounts of ultraviolet light to reach Earth unabated and has been linked to an increase in skin cancer diagnoses.
Severe bans on the manufacture of these products has seen the hole in the ozone recover at a rate of one to three per cent per decade، scientists have now found.
This process reverses the damage done by years of dangerous depletion and is expected to be fully repaired by the 2060s، the study revealed. The study was a four-yearly review of the Montreal Protocol، a 1987 ban on man-made gases that damage the fragile high-altitude ozone layer.
It found long-term decreases in the amount of these gases in the atmosphere and that the stratospheric ozone was recovering.
'The Antarctic ozone hole is recovering، while continuing to occur every year، the report said.
'As a result of the Montreal Protocol much more severe ozone depletion in the polar regions has been avoided.' Ozone is a molecule comprised of three oxygen atoms that occurs naturally in small amounts.
In the stratosphere، roughly seven to 25 miles above Earth's surface، the ozone layer acts like sunscreen، shielding the planet from potentially harmful ultraviolet radiation that can cause skin cancer and cataracts، suppress immune systems and also damage plants.
It is produced in tropical latitudes and distributed around the globe.
Closer to the ground، ozone can also be created by photochemical reactions between the sun and pollution from vehicle emissions and other sources، forming harmful smog.
Although warmer-than-average stratospheric weather conditions have reduced ozone depletion during the past two years، the current ozone hole area is still large compared to the 1980s، when the depletion of the ozone layer above Antarctica was first detected.