This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Find out more about page archiving.

Last updated at 13:15 BST, Friday, 12 September 2014

Ozone layer 'recovering'

Summary

12 September 2014

The Earth's protective ozone layer is starting to repair itself, according to a panel of United Nations scientists. The main reason behind its recovery, they say, is the fact that certain chemicals, such as those used in aerosol cans, were gradually banned in the 1980s.

Reporter:

Roger Harrabin

Paraglider in the sky

UV light can be harmful

Listen

Click to hear the report

Report

It was in the 1980s that many of us became aware that small individual actions could harm the planet itself.

Hairsprays were cited as one of the causes of the hole in the Antarctic ozone layer. People were told to wear sunscreen to avoid skin cancer as the layer thinned and more UV light got through.

By 1987 world governments had agreed to ban most of the ozone-eating chemicals.

The World Meteorological Organisation say at last the ozone layer is showing signs of thickening, although it will be a while before they know if the hole is actually healing.

The same organisation warned earlier this week that climate change was heading in the opposite direction with greenhouse gases in the atmosphere at a record level.

Listen

Click here to hear the vocabulary

Vocabulary

aware

having knowledge of something existing

harm

hurt or injure

UV light

light from the sun humans can't see and which can cause cancer

healing

(here) recovering

warned

alerted about danger

climate change

significant variation in the Earth's temperature

greenhouse gases

carbon dioxide and other gases which cause climate change