You might remember the chaos about a hole in the ozone layer back in the 1980s and 90s.
The layer above the Earth protecting us from harmful UV radiation was being stripped away, causing one of the biggest environmental and existential threats at the time.
Well, now the hole is on its way to a full recovery and is expected to be completely healed within 40 years. But humans have a knack for screwing things up and the ozone layer is no exception.
There is now a new threat to the ozone layer which could potentially reverse all the work put into its recovery.
“There is something that could threaten the ozone layer, rockets, specifically,” Cosmos Magazine journalist Ellen Phiddian told The Science Briefing.
“The effects of rocket exhaust and emissions in the atmosphere and predicted to become more of a problem.
“[We’ve] gone from launching 90 rockets a year to 130, which is a number just going up and up.”
With a proven correlation between the recovery of the ozone layer and the fight against climate change, why would we want to see the hole re-emerge?
Dr Sophie Calabretto talks to Ellen on the latest episode of The Science Briefing about how we overcame this environmental hurdle and the latest threat that could catapult us right back to where we started.
Introducing The Science Briefing: a podcast about the science of everything and your new go-to podcast for your snapshot of science news. Hosted by Dr Sophie Calabretto and featuring journalists from Cosmos Magazine. Hear it on the LiSTNR app now.