New Delhi: A study released on Tuesday revealed that the ozone layer covering the planet’s most populated regions is declining.
Calling the situation ‘unexpected’, the study warned that the ozone shield is ‘slightly worse today than 20 years ago’.
The ozone layer protects life on Earth from deadly ultraviolet radiation.
A 1987 treaty, the Montreal Protocol, banned industrial aerosols that chemically dissolved ozone in the high atmosphere, especially above Antarctica.
Nearly three decades later, the “ozone hole” over the South Pole and the upper reaches of the stratosphere are showing clear signs of recovery.
The stratosphere starts about 10 kilometres (six miles) above sea level and is about 40 kilometres thick.
At the same time, however, ozone in the lower stratosphere, 10-24 kilometres overhead, is slowly disintegrating, an international team of two dozen researchers warned.
“In tropical and middle latitudes” – home to most of humanity – “the ozone layer has not started to…