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For decades environmentalists and consumers have worried about the ever-pervasive hole in the ozone layer. Discovered in the late 1970s, the hole was eventually attributed to chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), caused by man-made chemicals like refrigerants and aerosol sprays. If the hole was left unchecked, experts predicted it would contribute to the gradual destruction of the planet in the form of global warming.

But today that hole is shrinking, attributable, in part, to regulations that were enacted in the late 1980s to reduce CFCs in the environment. During the 2016 winter in Antarctica, the depletion of the protective ozone layer was observed to be approximately 20 percent lower than it was a full decade ago.

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