World Bulletin/News Desk
The hole in the ozone layer, the earth's protective shield against ultraviolet rays, is expected to be smaller this year over the Antarctic than last, showing how a ban on harmful substances has stopped its depletion, the United Nations said on Friday.
But the hole is probably larger than in 2010 and a complete recovery is still a long way off.
The signing of the Montreal Protocol 25 years ago to phase out chemicals that deplete the ozone layer has helped prevent millions of cases of skin cancer and eye cataracts as well as harmful effects on the environment, the U.N. weather agency said.
"The temperature conditions and the extent of polar stratospheric clouds so far this year indicate that the degree of ozone loss will be smaller than in 2011 but probably somewhat larger than in 2010," the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said in a statement.
The Antarctic ozone hole, which currently measures 19 million square kilometres, most likely would be smaller this year than in the record year of 2006, it said. The annual occurrence typically reaches its maximum surface area during late September and maximum depth in early October.
But the banned chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), once used in refrigerators and spray cans, have a long lifetime in the atmosphere and it will take several decades before their concentrations are back to pre-1980 levels, the WMO said.
The Montreal protocol has been a "great success", U.N. weather agency expert Geir Braathen told a news briefing.
"This has prevented a major environmental disaster and globally ozone depletion has levelled off. We haven't really seen any kind of unequivocal ozone recovery yet," he said.
"Ozone depletion has stopped, levelled off," Braathen said.
In the Arctic stratosphere, there was record ozone loss in spring of 2011, but it has returned to more normal conditions this year, he said.
Tech giant Apple reported Tuesday a 6 percent increase to $37.4 billion in quarterly revenue after selling 35.2 million iPhones.
The total number of online access devices projected to rise to 50 billion in 2020 and 100 billion in 2030.
Tasmania is currently the only Australian state that bans genetically modified food crops and animal feed.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Gabriel Gorenstein said Friday he had authorized a warrant to be served on Google Inc for the emails of an unnamed individual who is the target of a money laundering investigation.
The freighter was loaded with more than 3,660 pounds (1,660 kg) of food, science equipment and supplies for the space station, a $100 billion research laboratory
The remains include two Tyrannosaurus bataar skeletons, a fossilized egg and a well-preserved 'nest' of several Oviraptor skeletons.
The MindRDR software monitors high levels of concentration, allowing users to take photographs and post it online without even having to move.
Angara rockets are a key to President Vladimir Putin's effort to reform a once-pioneering space industry hobbled after years of budget cuts and a brain drain in the 1990s.
It is hoped that by 2040 drones will be able to use 3D printers to print out mini-drones and repair themselves.
Russian Presidnt Vladimir Putin denied he was restricting web freedoms, saying his main concern was protecting children from indecent content.
Producing stem cells has become fast, easy, and inexpensive.
It's believed that a collision of two asteroids out in space caused a shower of meteors to rain down on Earth during the Ordovician Period some 470 million years ago.
Scientists discovered that wild chimps communicate 19 specific messages to one another with a “lexicon” of 66 gestures.
The ‘Smartcane’ is a new device that uses ultrasound to guide the visually impaired through the busy streets of India by building upon the widely used white cane.
Earthquake activity in Oklahoma has skyrocketed in recent years, and the U.S. Geological Survey recently warned that the state faces increasing risk of more potentially damaging earth-shaking activity
Scientists have developed a new technique to regrow human corneas.