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. (AP Photo/NASA)
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The ozone layer that shields life from the sun's cancer-causing ultraviolet rays is showing its first sign of thickening after years of dangerous depletion, a U.N. study said on Wednesday.The ozone hole that appears annually over Antarctica has also stopped growing bigger every year, though it will be about a decade before it starts shrinking, said the report co-produced by the World Meteorological Organization and the U.N. Environment Programme.Past studies have suggested the ozone layer has stopped getting worse.The ozone layer was expected to recover towards its 1980 level by mid-century, or slightly later for Antarctica, where it gets dangerously thin every year between mid-August and November or December.
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