Turning Point for the Earth

Published: Jan 1, 1989. Publicly Released: Jan 1, 1989.

Additional Materials:


Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800

This article, which appeared in the GAO Journal, No. 6, Summer 1989, discusses the deterioration of the atmosphere, focusing on: (1) regional air pollution that causes acid rain and damages aquatic life, forests, and crops; and (2) ozone depletion through the widespread use of chlorofluorocarbons (CFC). The buildup of carbon dioxide and other gases in the atmosphere threatens climatic changes through the depletion of the protective ozone layer in the atmosphere. Although industrial countries implemented an international agreement to cut CFC use by 50 percent, many scientists feel that a complete phase-out is needed by the end of the century. Activities such as burning fossil fuels, levelling forests, and producing certain synthetic chemicals release large quantities of carbon dioxide and other gases into the atmosphere, which traps heat close to the surface and raises global temperature. The biggest answer to the atmospheric problem is a transformation in energy technology, with increased energy efficiency at the center.

May 9, 2017

Mar 21, 2017

Mar 20, 2017

Feb 28, 2017

Feb 22, 2017

Feb 16, 2017

Feb 15, 2017

Feb 8, 2017

Jan 23, 2017

Looking for more? Browse all our products here