HomeAstronomyMega-constellations, rockets and supersonic aircraft could thwart ozone layer's recovery

Mega-constellations, rockets and supersonic aircraft could thwart ozone layer’s recovery

The atmosphere’s ozone layer was devastated in the 20th century by chemicals in aerosol sprays and refrigerators, but is now recovering and might even fully heal in a few of decades, a new scientific assessment estimates. However, new technologies are emerging that might thwart this global healing process. 

Ozone, a molecule consisting of three oxygen atoms that is distributed throughout the lower parts of the stratosphere (the second lowest layer of Earth’s atmosphere), blocks damaging ultraviolet radiation from the sun that can damage living tissues, cause cancer and harm eyesight. Since the 1980s, when the depletion of ozone in the stratosphere and the gaping hole in the ozone layer above Antarctica were first discovered, the world has come a long way toward mitigating or healing that damage.

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