A Story of Ozone: The Earth's Natural Sunscreen

  • Released Sunday, April 5, 2015

In this talk, Dr. Paul Newman tells the story of how scientists and policy-makers safeguarded the Earth’s ozone layer and the world we avoided by regulating chlorofluorocarbons (CFCS) . Back in the 60s, we used chlorofluorocarbons, a chlorine-containing chemical, in everything from hairsprays and deodorants to foam products and air conditioners. But in 1974, chemists Sherwood Rowland and Mario Molina published a paper claiming CFCs were destroying the ozone layer. The Molina-Rowland paper launched a debate in the scientific community that ultimately led to the halls of the United Nations. Today, more than 191 countries have signed the Montreal Protocol— a treaty that regulates the use of chlorofluorocarbons—and the ozone layer is on the mend. But the story has taken a new and unpredictable turn as the class of compounds that replaced CFCs act as greenhouse gases.


Please give credit for this item to: Alison Ogden
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

Release date

This page was originally published on Sunday, April 5, 2015.
This page was last updated on Wednesday, May 3, 2023 at 1:49 PM EDT.


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This visualization originally appeared on the following tapes:
  • Ozone with Paul Newman (ID: 2015023)
    Friday, February 13, 2015 at 5:00AM
    Produced by - David Hon (NASA)