Remember the ozone hole? The hole in the atmospheric ozone layer over Antarctica that allowed dangerous solar radiation to come through to the surface of the Earth with potentially deadly effects on life there.
Starting in 1989, international agreements began to cap and then to reduce the percentage of ozone-destroying gases liberated through the use of certain refrigerants and propellants, and scientists around the world began to check on the condition of the ozone hall at the end of every Antarctic winter. This year, meteorologist Murray Salby, with Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia, announced the first signs of healing of the hole. Admittedly the changes in the ozone hole are small, and somewhat ambiguous, but they indicate that the international collaboration of many countries can in fact succeed in working together to heal an environmental crisis
Now, if we could only all get together on a program of slowing … then stopping … then reversing the flow of carbon compounds into the atmosphere, why, then we’d have some hope that our grandchildren might have a pretty decent world to live in!
But, Meanwhile —
The regular run of chronic bad weather news is still with us. Eastern Europe’s summer was the hottest in more than 500 years. In Russia, there were more than 55,000 deaths related to the heat wave. A quarter of the crops failed, there were vast wildfires and meteorological models suggest that somewhat less extreme heat waves will be common over the next 40 years.