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Renewed and emerging concerns over the production and emission of ozone-depleting substances

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

  • Martyn P. Chipperfield
  • Ryan Hossaini
  • Stephen A. Montzka
  • Stefan Reimann
  • David Sherry
  • Susann Tegtmeier
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1/05/2020
<mark>Journal</mark>Nature Reviews Earth & Environment
Number of pages13
Pages (from-to)251-263
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date30/04/20
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Stratospheric ozone depletion, first observed in the 1980s, has been caused by the increased production and use of substances such as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), halons and other chlorine-containing and bromine-containing compounds, collectively termed ozone-depleting substances (ODSs). Following controls on the production of major, long-lived ODSs by the Montreal Protocol, the ozone layer is now showing initial signs of recovery and is anticipated to return to pre-depletion levels in the mid-to-late twenty-first century, likely 2050–2060. These return dates assume widespread compliance with the Montreal Protocol and, thereby, continued reductions in ODS emissions. However, recent observations reveal increasing emissions of some controlled (for example, CFC-11, as in eastern China) and uncontrolled substances (for example, very short-lived substances (VSLSs)). Indeed, the emissions of a number of uncontrolled VSLSs are adding significant amounts of ozone-depleting chlorine to the atmosphere. In this Review, we discuss recent emissions of both long-lived ODSs and halogenated VSLSs, and how these might lead to a delay in ozone recovery. Continued improvements in observational tools and modelling approaches are needed to assess these emerging challenges to a timely recovery of the ozone layer.