A University of Canterbury atmospheric researcher this week revealed that New Zealand's ozone hole is shrinking for the first time in 30 years. Photo / Martin Sykes
A worldwide treaty banning aerosols 25 years ago averted a global catastrophe, New Zealand ozone layer scientists said yesterday.
Niwa scientists played a major role in creating the Montreal Protocol, signed a quarter of a century ago tomorrow and widely hailed as the world's most successful international environmental protection treaty which banned CFCs. The agency yesterday said that given New Zealand's location, world-class research scientists and instrumentation, its contribution to the treaty had been profound.
Niwa atmospheric scientist Dr Olaf Morgenstern, as well as other international scientists, has run atmospheric models for a non-intervention, no-Montreal Protocol scenarios.
It shows that at the end of the 21st century the ozone layer is nearly completely wiped out, bringing widespread skin cancer and food shortages.
"In this sense, the Montreal Protocol took effect just in time to avert a catastrophe," Dr Morgenstern said. Read more: