NASA finds decrease in ozone depletion

According to a press release by NASA, the ozone layer is still being depleted, but the rate at which it is occurring is on the decrease. Although not yet to the point where we'll be getting back to the pre-CFC state, it does show progress in reversing man-made pollution.

There are, however, some interesting implications. First, the lead scientist on this work believes that we may be in complete recovery in about forty years. Based on the 1987 treaty that started the phase out, that would mean a less than 60 year recovery period from the time that the problem was taken seriously to the time that it will be "resolved."

A further article from Nature goes into the possibility that global warming may actually be retarding the recovery of the ozone layer and that if we were to act on global warming immediately, ozone layer recovery might be aided as well. I'm not sure that makes sense, and I've not seen any tangible evidence of the connection, but that's not the first claim related to global warming that doesn't have concrete scientific evidence.

I'm sure that these results are a mixed bag for the researchers who are insistent upon immediate drastic measures to fight global warming. On one hand, it shows that things can be done to fix some man made problems and that at least some environmental systems will self correct once their proximate causes are removed.

As a counter point, it may also reduce their arguments that the permanence of any global warming effect is irreversible, thus reducing the public urgency for a solution to the "problem." Considering how much of the argument right now is based on the idea that we can't go back and fix it, that would seem troublesome to the global warming community.