Air. We all need it, and we all need to be able to breathe it. However, the increase of greenhouse gases and pollution has made the very air that we breathe poisonous. Greenhouse gases and air pollution are similar to other forms of pollution in that pollution does not respect national borders. Air pollution from one country can easily travel and impact the inhabitants of another.
Moreover, the presence of certain chemicals in the air (called ozone-depleting substances) can greatly deplete the presence of ozone in the Earth’s atmosphere. So what? Well, the ozone layer is very important because it protects the Earth from the sun’s ultraviolet radiation. Without the ozone layer, Earth, including all living beings, is exposed to higher and more harmful levels of ultraviolet radiation. One of the negative effects of higher levels of UV radiation is increasing global temperatures. The threat of higher levels of UV radiation is very real because humans are actively releasing ozone-depleting substances into the air.
In 1987 the international community joined together to limit specific ozone-depleting chemicals. Some chemicals are still being released into the atmosphere. However, through the Montreal Protocols, there are limits to which chemicals can be used and how. The Montreal Protocol implements the limitations in phases that are dependent on the type of chemical and level of development of a signatory nation.
For instance, this year in 2022, six years after negotiations, NPR reported that the US Senate is finally moving to ratify the Kigali Amendment of the Montreal Protocol. The Kigali Amendment focuses on phasing down the use of hydrofluorocarbons, chemicals that are commonly used in refrigerators, air conditioners, and insulating foams. After the initial ratification of the Montreal Protocol, hydrofluorocarbons replaced many of the banned chemicals. However, hydrofluorocarbons themselves are very dangerous greenhouse gases. The US’s participation in phasing out the use of hydrofluorocarbons will help to reduce global warming.
Global warming is an existential threat that we must confront immediately. One part of combatting climate change is by cleaning pollutants from existing water resources to increase the available safe water supply and ensuring the proper disposal of contaminants. IX Power Clean Water is making it possible for industries to affordably treat and clean their wastewater so it can be reused in a sustainable, closed-loop system. Then, industries don’t have to use our precious freshwater in their production processes. Find out how IX Power Clean Water is helping to change industrial water consumption at https://ixwater.com/.
To learn more about the US’s phasing out of hydrofluorocarbons go to: https://www.npr.org/2022/09/20/1123433566/hydrofluorocarbons-banned-us
To learn more about the Montreal Protocol go to: https://www.unep.org/ozonaction/who-we-are/about-montreal-protocol.
#environment #montrealprotocol #airquality
By Sierra Tanner