Today, our global society is more concerned with being kind to the environment than ever before. Although no matter what our current generation of humans does to planet Earth, we won’t ruin the Earth for ourselves. However, we will, in fact, damage it for future generations, not giving them the chance to experience our species’ one and only place to live in the known universe.
Planet Earth is composed of many distinct parts, one of which is the ozone layer. The ozone layer, which is roughly 10 to 22 miles above the Earth’s surface, helps keep harmful ultraviolet light emitted by the Sun out of the troposphere, the part of the atmosphere that we live in. According to current estimates, the ozone layer is directly responsible for screening out mid-frequency ultraviolet light waves to the tune of 97 to 99 percent.
In the mid-1970s, a class of studies were published that indicated that our planet’s ozone layer was depleting rapidly as a direct result of the overuse of chlorofluorocarbons, also known as CFCs, which have been used extensively as propellents in pressurized cans that contain aerosols such as hairspray and spray paint, solvents used to dissolve tough substances, and refrigerants.
According to a study published in the popular science journal Nature that’s titled “Increase in CFC-11 emissions from eastern China based on atmospheric observations,” a handful of provinces in the northeastern-most portion of China are responsible for having widely used the chlorofluorocarbon CFC-11, also known as trichlorofluoromethane, over the past six-odd years.
Scientists began finding a marked increase in the atmosphere’s levels of CFC-11, a compound that cannot be found in nature, roughly six years ago. CFC-11, which was one of the world’s most popular varieties of CFCs, levels had been steadily declining for decades prior to the disappearance of that steady decline.
According to the aforementioned study, the provinces in northeastern China are responsible for pumping out anywhere between 40 and 60 percent of the entire world’s increase in CFC-11 emissions. As compared to the five-year period running from 2008 to 2012, the four-year period spanning from 2014 to 2017 featured a rise in emissions that was 110 percent greater than that of the former period.
As for the rest of the world’s CFC-11 emissions, scientists aren’t sure of where they could be originating from.