What Would have Happened to the Ozone Layer if Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) had not been Regulated?

  • Released Tuesday, March 17, 2009
  • Updated Thursday, March 8, 2018 at 11:40AM
  • ID: 3586

Led by NASA Goddard scientist Paul Newman, a team of atmospheric chemists simulated 'what might have been' if chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and similar ozone-depleting chemicals were not banned through the Montreal Protocol. The comprehensive model — including atmospheric chemical effects, wind changes, and solar radiation changes — simulated what would happen to global concentrations of stratospheric ozone if CFCs were continually added to the atmosphere.

The visualizations below present two cases, from several different viewing positions: the 'world avoided' case, where the rate of CFC emission into the atmosphere is assumed to be that of the period before regulation, and the 'projected' case, which assumes the current rate of emission, post-regulation. Both cases extrapolate to the year 2065.

Years only



Comparison of the "Projected" (Left Sphere) and the "World Avoided" (Right Sphere) if chlorofluorocarbons and other ozone-depleting chemicals were not banned through the Montreal Protocol. This sequence contains the year overlay and the colorbar.

This shorter version was encoded for Dr. Waleed Abdalatis's lecture on October 16, 2012 at the Library

of Congress. His lecture is titled "Looking Homeward Toward Earth: The Power of Perspective".


Please give credit for this item to:
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio


This visualization can be found in the following series:


This visualization originally appeared on the following tapes:
  • None

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