Press Release

Publication of the FY 2010 Annual Report on Ozone Layer Monitoring

August 29, 2011

The MOE of Japan has compiled its FY 2010 annual report on ozone layer monitoring, covering the status of (i) ozone layer, (ii) atmospheric concentration of ozone depleting substances (ODS), and (iii) solar ultraviolet radiation, pursuant to the Law Concerning the Protection of the Ozone Layer through the Control of Specified Substances and Other Measures (the "Ozone Layer Protection Law").

(i) The current condition of the ozone layer
- The global total ozone has been largely reduced from 1980s to the first half of 1990s. After the end of 1990s, there has been no change or showed little increase. However, the status of total ozone remains depleted compared in 1979.
- The ozone hole over Antarctica rapidly expanded from the 1980s to the 1990s. Since then, such holes have occurred almost every year on a large scale. An area of the ozone hole over Antarctica occurred in 2010 was the third smallest after 1990s. However, the Antarctic ozone layer has been still in critical condition.

(ii) Concentration of ozone-depleting substances in the atmosphere
- In the mid-latitude areas of the Northern hemisphere, atmospheric concentration of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) have decreased very slowly, as observed in Hokkaido. On the other hand, concentrations of hydro chlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) have been rapidly increasing. The concentration of hydrofluorocarbons(HFCs), which does not deplete the ozone layer but has high greenhouse effects, has been rapidly increasing.
- CFCs stay in the atmosphere a very long time; therefore, it is predicted that from now on, its concentration will be reduced very slowly due to complete abandonment of its production. As to HCFCs, it is predicted that its concentration in the atmosphere will increase and reach its peak within 20 to 30 years, after start to decrease.

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