Describe the chain of events that connects the release of CFCs from discarded refrigerators to increases in UV radiation at Earth’s surface. READ THE INFO BELOW TO ANSWER ASSIGNMENT.
Up to the 1987 Montreal Protocol, global emissions of CFCs were increasing (indicated here in millions of metric tons of CFC-11 equivalents). Countries and industries responded quickly to the protocol’s mandates, and emissions declined by 80% in just 10 years. The green dashed line indicates emissions of CFCs from natural processes.
Data from: World Meteorological Organization. 2011. Scientific Assessment of Ozone Depletion: 2010. Global Ozone Research and Monitoring Report No. 52, 516 pp.The Montreal Protocol has served as a model for the development of other agreements, including the Kyoto Protocol to limit greenhouse gas emissions. Unfortunately, the factors that led to rapid agreement on CFCs are not in place for greenhouse gases. Compared to the scientific consensus regarding CFCs, there has been much less certainty regarding the causes and consequences of greenhouse gas emissions. Unlike the risks of CFCs, the risks of global warming are not equally distributed among nations. Unlike the production of CFCs, the production of greenhouse gases occurs worldwide, and emissions from developing countries are accelerating. And finally, although there are energy alternatives to fossil fuels, there is social and economic resistance to their adoption
Interestingly the response to the phase out of CFCs was to replace them with HFCs (hydrofluorocarbons). We know now that HFCs contribute significantly to global warming. On October 14, 2016, 170 nations made an amendment to the Montreal Protocol. The nations agreed to freeze their HFC production.
In general, the development of policies and laws to limit air pollution requires agreement that the threats to the environment or human health are significant. Policies are more likely to succeed if they ensure that the costs and benefits of reducing emissions are shared equitably among stakeholders.
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