Antarctic Ozone hole is healing: IIT Kharagpur study
    Kolkata, Nov 30 (PTI) A research team of the Indian
Institute of Technology, Kharagpur have come up with new data
"confirming" that the Antarctic Ozone hole is on a "healing"
path, a statement issued by the institute said Friday.
    Researchers of the Center of Oceans, Rivers,
Atmosphere and Law Science (CORAL) of IIT Kharagpur have
collected data from 1979 to 2017, which shows though there was
a loss in saturation of Ozone since 1987 over the Antarctic,
the saturation of loss at 12-21 km stretch has significantly
reduced over the period 20012017, the statement said.
    While the world is debating on climate change and
global warming, the findings by CORAL researchers have given
environmentalists a reason to rejoice, it said.
    This is the first of its kind research providing
detailed long-term (over four decades) analysis of Antarctic
ozone loss saturation in terms of its occurrence, timing
using high-resolution ozonesondes (a ballon borne instrument
that measures concentration of ozone) and satellite
measurements inside the vortex (a whirling mass of fluid or
air) for the said period, the statement said.
    "We have observed over the past four decades the Ozone
layer depletion peaked during winters each year except the
warm winters of 1988 and 2002. However, our analysis shows a
clear reduction in the frequency of occurrence of ozone loss
saturation over the period 20012017 consistently throughout
various datasets," Prof Jayanarayanan Kuttippurath said.
    "This reveals the emergence of an important milestone
in ozone recovery," he said.
    Kuttippurath along with Pankaj Kumar, Prijitha J Nair
and P C Pandey from the IIT Kharagpur Coral team conducted the
    Data were collected for various altitudes from autumn
to spring, over the decades, from stations across Antarctica,
including measurements from the Indian station Maitri.
    The reduction of ozone loss saturation in the recent
years ranged from 20 per cent to 60 per cent, across the data
    Asked if this was going to affect the existing
protocols and regulations for industrial emissions of ozone
depleting substances, Kuttippurath was quoted as saying "the
recovery ... suggests that the Montreal Protocol has
definitely saved the ozone layer and climate of the southern
    The Montreal Protocol on Substances that deplete the
ozone layer is an international treaty designed to protect the
ozone layer.
    Since there are already significant changes in the
southern hemispheric climate owing to the Antarctic ozone
loss, the recovery from loss saturation is very likely to
affect that climate, Kuttippurath was quoted as saying.
    As the ozone recovery process is very slow, it will
take a few decades to get back to the pre-ozone hole levels,
Prof P C Pandey of CORAL, who is also the founder director of
the National Centre for Antarctic and Ocean Research, was
quoted as saying in the statement. PTI SUS