Ozone depletion is a hoax?

In response to the United Nations’ recent statement that the earth’s ozone layer is healing, a post on social media, twitter, claims that ozone depletion is a hoax.

Steve Milloy, the creator of the post, is purportedly an expert on “energy, environmental and public health issues”. He is also the founder and publisher of a website called JunkScience.com. The website describes junk science as “faulty scientific data and analysis used to advance special interests and hidden agendas”.

Healing of the ozone layer

It was first announced in 1985 that there was a hole in the ozone layer over the Antarctic.

The ozone layer is essential to protect the earth from harmful ultraviolet rays (UV) from the sun. UV rays are responsible for, among others, causing skin cancers.

The United Nations has recently announced that the ozone layer is healing and is expected to recover within four decades barring any inadvertent ramifications on the ozone layer due to the use of new technologies such as geoengineering.

The recovery of the ozone layer is attributed to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer (Montreal Protocol).

The Montreal Protocol, which was adopted in 1987, is an international treaty which “regulates the production and consumption of nearly 100 man-made chemicals referred to as ozone depleting substances (ODS)”. It aims to phase down the utilization and production of these ODS.

The UN-backed Scientific Assessment Panel to the Montreal Protocol has confirmed that nearly 99% of ODS have been phased out since the adoption of the protocol which has led to the recovery of the ozone layer.

Montreal Protocol, a fraud?

In support of his stance, Milloy includes a link to his article published on JunkScience, titled “Ozone ‘hole’, ‘depletion’ hysteria debunked anew; Kigali Amendment ratification should be halted pending review”, in his twitter post calling ozone depletion a hoax.

The article refers to a study which “reports the existence since the 1980s of an ozone ‘hole’ over the tropics much larger than the alleged Antarctic one that caused the Montreal Protocol”. Milloy claims that no harm has been reported in relation to the much larger ozone hole over the tropics which quashes the reasoning for adopting the Montreal Protocol to combat the supposedly smaller ozone hole over the Antarctic.

The study in question is a peer-reviewed paper titled “Observation of large and all-season ozone losses over the tropics” by Qing-Bin Lu (Lu), a scientist from the University of Waterloo in Canada, and published on 5 July 2022. The study asserts that there is a “large and all-season ozone hole in the lower stratosphere over the tropics (30°N–30°S) existing since the 1980s”.

However, the study also cautions that the alleged ozone hole over the tropics could be of “great global concern as it can lead to increases in ground-level ultraviolet radiation and affect 50% of the Earth’s surface area”. This contradicts Milloy’s view that ozone depletion should be of no concern.

Nevertheless, the accuracy of Lu’s assertions have been questioned by other experts and his paper was deemed unreliable.

With no further studies or evidence to support the view that ozone depletion is a hoax and/or has no impact on earth, this claim is false in light of the empirical data and substantiation provided for the existence of the ozone depletion and its impacts.

Leave a Reply