Scientists from the University of Lancaster analyzed how the climate on Earth would have changed if the decision had not been made to abandon chlorofluorocarbons.
In the 1980s, it became known that the ozone layer, which protects the Earth from ultraviolet radiation from the Sun, is being destroyed by chlorofluorocarbons – compounds of fluorine, chlorine and hydrocarbons used as refrigerants and components of building materials. The most common representative of chlorofluorocarbons is difluorodichloromethane (Freon R 12, Freon-12, Freon-12, CFC-12, R-12).
By that time, their emissions had managed to create ozone holes over the Antarctic and Arctic, where the ozone concentration became close to zero. Therefore, the Montreal Protocol was concluded: it is considered the most successful example of international cooperation in the field of environmental protection.
In the new work, scientists decided to study how the Montreal Treaty affected the climate: they calculated what the climate would look like if there were no freon ban.
If freon emissions continued, it would be a disaster not only for human health, but also for plant life. An increased level of ultraviolet radiation would dramatically worsen the flora’s ability to absorb carbon dioxide, which would accelerate its accumulation in the atmosphere and raise the temperature by several degrees. We hope this scenario never comes true.
Paul Young, Research Fellow at Lancaster University
The study found that average temperatures on Earth would rise by an additional 2.5 ° C by 2100, even if CO2 emissions were reduced to zero right now.
Of this number of degrees – 1.7-2 ° C are associated with the greenhouse, and the remaining 0.5-0.8 ° C would fall on the effect of ozone holes.
By 2080–2099, plants and soils could have 325–690 billion tonnes less carbon than current projections.