Satellite studies show that smoke from two years ago’s Australian wildfires had an effect on the barrier that shields the Earth from harmful UV rays. Bushfires were determined to be so intense that smoke soared into the atmosphere, causing a sequence of chemical reactions that led to ozone depletion. According to scientists, total ozone levels dropped by 1% in March 2020. They warned that this could put a halt to recent efforts toward banning ozone-depleting chemicals. At mid-latitudes, the ozone layer is recovering at a rate of about 1% each decade. According to the study’s lead author, Prof Susan Solomon of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the United States, wildfire damage will considerably impede development.

The study was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and Prof. Clare Murphy (Paton-Walsh) of the University of Wollongong commented on it. She predicted that ozone depletion would occur again after severe fires, which are expected to become more common as a result of climate change in the coming decades. “Any slowdown in the recovery of ozone in the mid-latitudes will increase the overall exposure to UV-radiation for Australians and hence may impact the occurrence of skin cancers in future,” she said.