New Delhi, February 08: Findings from a new study has revealed that ozone layer covering the populated areas of Earth is depleting faster than other areas. The study released in European Geosciences Union Journal on Tuesday has called the phenomenon ‘unexpected’ and warned that the status of ozone shield is worse today than 20 years ago.
The ozone layer that protects life on Earth from the harmful Ultraviolet radiations was found to be thinning at lower latitudes,where the sunlight is stronger and billions of people live.
The greatest depletion of ozone was found over Antarctica, over three decades ago. The Montreal Protocol signed by international leaders in 1987 substantially mitigated the threat. The ozone hole over the poles has been closing since the chemicals causing the depletion were banned by the Montreal protocol.
But over the years, the ozone layer thinning has moved from the poles to lower stratosphere over the lower latitudes. The reason for this phenomenon is not yet found, though scientists suspect a chemical used in paint stripper as the primal cause for this.
According to the researchers, the study was conducted in lower to mid latitudes areas, where the sunshine is more intense. The researchers have found that there were more cases of skin cancer in these areas, signalling the depletion of ozone layer and the penetration of Ultraviolet rays.