The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in the United States has said that the Ozone layer, the shield around the earth’s stratosphere that absorbs most of the sun’s ultra violet radiation, has been depleting at a slower rate.

The Ozone layer started to experience a decline of about 4 per cent in the 1970s and has continued for decades, generating worldwide concern over increased cancer risks, global warming, and other negative effects.

But according to a new NASA study, based on data from the Aura satellite, the hole in the ozone layer is getting depleted at a lesser rate.

The study, published recently in Geophysical Research Letters, revealed that a decline in ozone-depleting chemicals has resulted in 20 per cent less depletion since 2005.

According to NASA, chlorine levels declined by 0.8 per cent each year between 2005 and 2016.

“We see very clearly that chlorine from chlorofluorocarbons is going down in the ozone hole, and that less ozone depletion is occurring because of it,” Susan Strahan, lead author and atmospheric scientist from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, said.

“As far as the ozone hole being gone, we’re looking at 2060 or 2080,” Anne Douglass, co-author and atmospheric scientist at Goddard said in a statement.

“And even then there might still be a small hole.”

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