Chill out, the hole in the ozone layer is actually shrinking

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Chill out, the Hole in the Ozone Layer Is Actually Shrinking

How about this for a change? It's a climate change story that has some good news.

For all the warnings about the environmental damage we humans do to our planet, a new study says the hole in the ozone layer is actually shrinking.

The study examined the effect of 1987's Montreal Protocol, an agreement that aimed to curb worldwide use of chlorofluorocarbons and other chemicals that are known to harm the ozone layer.

Those types of chemicals are used about 97 percent less since the agreement went into effect, and it seems to be having the desired result.

SEE MORE: "23 States Sue The EPA Over A CO2 Emissions Regulation"

The ozone layer has packed on about 1.5 million square miles since its low point in 2000, and NASA is optimistic the ozone layer could fully recover by 2070. But planet Earth isn't doing itself any favors.

Several recent volcanic eruptions have caused some setbacks. The sulfur spewed out by volcanoes can magnify aerosol particles and chip away at the ozone layer's recovery.

In spite of the volcanic hurdles, scientists say the progress is encouraging. The study's lead author Susan Solomon said, "We can now be confident that the things we've done have put the planet on a path to heal."

This video includes clips from NASA and RT and an image from NASA / CC by 2.0. Music provided courtesy of APM Music.

Learn more about the ozone layer:

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Earth's atmosphere - ozone
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Earth's atmosphere - ozone
This undated image provided by NASA shows the ozone layer over the years, Sept. 17, 1979, top left, Oct. 7, 1989, top right, Oct. 9, 2006, lower left, and Oct. 1, 2010, lower right. Earth protective but fragile ozone layer is finally starting to rebound, says a United Nations panel of scientists. Scientists hail this as rare environmental good news, demonstrating that when the world comes together it can stop a brewing ecological crisis. (AP Photo/NASA)
FILE - This Jan. 23, 2013, file photo, shows a poor air quality sign is posted over a highway, in Salt Lake City. Carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere reached a record high in 2013 as increasing levels of man-made pollution transform the planet, the U.N. weather agency said Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)
FILE - In this April 3, 2014 file photo giant machines dig for brown coal at the open-cast mining Garzweiler in front of a smoking power plant near the city of Grevenbroich in western Germany. The U.N. weather agency says carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere reached a record high in 2013. The World Meteorological Organization says the heat-trapping gas blamed for global warming was at global concentrations of 396 parts per million last year. That is an increase of 2.9 ppm from the previous year, which the Geneva-based agency reported Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014 was the biggest year-to-year change in three decades. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner, File)
This screenshot provided by the University of Houston taken November 3, 2012 shows a new app available for iPhones and Android smartphones. The Houston Ozone Map app collects data from 74 air and wind monitors throughout the Houston area, giving residents nearly real-time data on smog. (AP Photo, University of Houston)
This screenshot provided by the University of Houston taken November 3, 2012 shows a page in a new app available for iPhones and Android smartphones. The Houston Ozone Map app collects data from 74 air and wind monitors throughout the Houston area, giving residents nearly real-time data on smog. (AP Photo, University of Houston)
In this Aug. 28, 2011 photo, a smokestack at a gas production facility in the Pinedale Anticline gas field is silhouetted against the Wind River Range and town of Pinedale, background, in western Wyoming. Gas development has contributed to severe winter ozone pollution in the area. Wyoming leaders praise but environmentalists criticize an Obama administration decision not to lower the national pollution limit for ozone.(AP Photo/Mead Gruver)
The downtown Los Angeles skyline is seen from an eastside freeway Wednesday, April 28, 2010. Six in 10 Americans - about 175 million people - are living in places where air pollution often reaches dangerous levels, despite progress in reducing particle pollution, the American Lung Association said in a report released Wednesday. The Los Angeles area had the nation's worst ozone pollution. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)
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