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Ozone Day:
September 16th, 2015

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International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer

The United Nations International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer is celebrated each year around the world on September 16. This year marks the 30th anniversary of Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer, a multilateral agreement designed to protect the ozone layer and eliminate the use of ozone depleting substances. This landmark treaty and the Montreal Protocol that followed have been hailed as prime examples of successful global cooperation to protect our environment. The slogan for this year’s celebration is “Ozone: All there is between you and UV”

On this special day, primary and secondary school educators throughout the world are encouraged to organize classroom activities that focus on topics related to the ozone layer and its protection.

Why Care About The Ozone Layer?

  • Inuvik Sky - Photo Credit: Dawn BazelyThe ozone layer acts as an atmospheric shield. All life on earth depends on its protection from the lethal levels of ultraviolet radiation produced by the sun.
  • Cause and effect has been established between a thinning of the ozone layer and increased incidence of skin cancer.
  • Declines in crop yields of up to 50% in some countries have been linked to increased amounts of incoming UV radiation. A thinner ozone layer is also a factor in the declining concentrations of phytoplankton that support aquatic food webs.
  • Products emitting ozone depleting substances are still produced and consumed throughout the world.
  • Many ozone depleting substances remain active in the atmosphere for 50 to 100 years.
  • Most ozone depleting substances are also greenhouse gases.
  • Protection efforts to date are making a difference. According to the US EPA, the ozone layer has not grown thinner since 1998 and the total abundance of ODS in the atmosphere is decreasing.

Resources 4 Rethinking encourages students and teachers to participate in the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer. Top R4R Picks will connect you to some excellent resources to support these efforts.

For more information and activities be sure to check out the International Day for the preservation of the Ozone Layer 2015 website.