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This week marks the 30th anniversary of the signing of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. The signing of the Montreal Protocol was a landmark political event. The treaty is the first in the history of the United Nations to achieve universal ratification. Environmental science made it happen.
Scientists at NERC's British Antarctic Survey (BAS), Joe Farman, Brian Gardiner and Jonathan Shanklin, described their observation of large losses of ozone over Antarctica in the journal Nature. The discovery of the Antarctic ozone hole by BAS provided an early warning of the dangerous thinning of the ozone layer worldwide.
Research - Professor - John - Pyle - Dr
NERC-funded atmospheric research by Professor John Pyle, Dr Neil Harris and colleagues at the University of Cambridge and the National Centre for Atmospheric Science played a leading role in demonstrating the effect of man-made gases on the ozone layer, and the consequences for human health. Their contributions played a key part in the strengthening of the Montreal Protocol.
With this evidence, governments from all over the world took action and created the 1987 Montreal Protocol, which was signed on 16 September. The protocol, along with other pieces of related legislation, has ensured the rapid phase-out of ozone depleting substances.
Analysis - NERC - Ozone - Research - Thousands
A NERC-commissioned analysis in 2015 found that NERC's ozone research has spared thousands of lives and led to lower food prices, leading to savings of £1·3 billion every year for the UK, thanks to the early implementation of the Montreal Protocol.
The analysis estimated that, had NERC-funded scientists at NERC's British Antarctic Survey not reported their discovery of a hole in the ozone layer in 1985, its discovery might have been delayed by five to ten years. By 2030, the cost of this delay would have resulted in 300 more skin cancer cases every year in the UK, costing the country around £550 million...
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