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World Ozone Day: History, Significance and Theme

Shivam Dwivedi
Shivam Dwivedi
Sunset at Antarctica (Pic credit: Live Science)

Every year, new heat records are set across the world, and this year has been no exception. High temperatures and extreme heatwaves were recorded from the Arctic Circle, Canada, and Scandinavia to North Africa, Iran, Japan, and India. Obviously, as heat increases, so does the demand to stay cool and use refrigeration.

World Ozone Day is annually celebrated on September 16 across the globe. There's an important event attached to the International Ozone day i.e. Montreal Protocol, held in 1987. It is a successful collaboration of more than 24 member nations of the UN as they together signed and pledged to save the ozone layer from further damage by limiting the use of CFCs (Chlorofluorocarbons) and other dangerous substances that cause the depletion of the ozone layer in the atmosphere.

About Ozone Layer & Its Depletion:

  • The ozone layer contains relatively higher concentrations of ozone gas and absorbs most of the ultraviolet radiation reaching the earth from the sun. This Layer is thicker over the poles than over the equator.

  • Chemicals containing chlorine and bromine atoms are released into the environment through human activities. These chemicals alongside certain weather conditions cause reactions within the Ozone Layer, resulting in ozone molecules getting destroyed.

  • Deterioration of the Ozone Layer occurs globally, but the severe depletion of the Ozone Layer over the Antarctic is often referred to as the 'Ozone Hole'.

Historical Background

This day was celebrated on September 16, 1995, for the first time. However, the Montreal Protocol was signed in 1987, the day to establish the contract’s importance happened much later in 1995. The United Nations General Assembly first celebrated the day to bring about global awareness of the need to save the ozone layer.

Why do we celebrate Ozone Day?

  • For our upcoming generations to survive in an eco-friendly atmosphere, it is essential to protect and sustain the bio-diversities. Polluting nature is dangerous to the progress of humankind.

  • The most excellent way to commemorate World Ozone Day is to gather massive public virtually through a live event and disseminate awareness about how CFCs destroy the ozone layer above us.

  • Educational institutions can bring change by educating the public about the need to preserve the ozone layer. Short campaigns, special events at schools, competitions, and essay writing activities are a number of everyday things to be conducted at schools.

What is the theme for Ozone Day 2021?

  • "Montreal Protocol- Keeping Us, Our Food and Vaccines Cool" is the theme of World Ozone Day 2021. The Montreal Protocol has done its job very well, making it one of the most successful environmental agreements to date.

  • A collective global effort to phase out ozone-depleting elements means that the hole in the ozone layer is healing, in turn, safeguarding human health, economies, and entire ecosystems.

Significance of World Ozone Day 2021:

  • As we know, in the stratosphere of Earth’s atmosphere, there exists a protective shield called the ozone layer and it is responsible for absorbing and preventing harmful UV rays from penetrating the Earth’s surface. It is the stratosphere that contains a more considerable amount of ozone layer compared to other segments.

  • Montreal Protocol plays a crucial role in the protection of the ozone layer. With the growth of industrialization and increase in pollution, harmful substances have worsened the quality of air around us. Not just that, they're known to reduce or, in other words, deplete the concentration of the ozone layer. The first ozone hole was identified over the Antarctic region.

  • With the implementation of the protocol, the Earth has started healing at a rate of 1 to 3 percent every decade, counted since 2000. So this brings to the foresight the relevance, necessity, and importance of World Ozone Day.

Apart from this, we must take up efforts and spread awareness on preserving the ozone layer. Let’s take an oath to protect the ozone layer and save life on earth this World Ozone Day! Protect It & Protect Yourself!!

Ravichandran Purushothaman, President, Danfoss India said, “Cold chain and refrigeration industry lies at the core of the theme for World Ozone Day 2021-“Keeping us, our food, and vaccines cool”. This will help bolster awareness about the impact of this sector on food loss and wastage, the economy and most importantly, public and environmental health.

With an aim to make our Planet climatically safer and environmentally secure, Danfoss Industries has recently opened its new Centre of Excellence for green refrigerants, in Chennai including a new Green Refrigerant Testing Centre. This is a major green milestone in Danfoss’s journey to provide Sustainable Cooling for all and will surely help in the green transformation of India’s Cold Chain sector. Danfoss is also working with the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) for exploring carbon dioxide (CO2) as a promising natural refrigerant for Indian conditions. This is a vital step towards emphasizing the need for adapting latest technologies to local conditions and working with regional research institutes to build the local ecosystem necessary for nourishing new climate-friendly technologies, to ensure a green and sustainable tomorrow for India.”

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