NASA Researchers Share Perspective on Key Elements of Ozone Layer Recovery

Each year, ozone-depleting compounds in the upper atmosphere destroy the protective ozone layer, and in particular above Antarctica. The ozone layer acts as Earth's sunscreen by absorbing harmful ultraviolet radiation from incoming sunlight that can cause skin cancer and damage plants, among other harmful effects to life on Earth. While these different compounds each release either reactive chlorine or bromine, the two active ozone-destroying ingredients, during a series of chemical reactions, the molecules have a range of different lifetimes in the atmosphere that can affect their ultimate impact on the ozone layer and its future recovery.