Ozone (O3) is present in 1 ppm in the upper stratosphere, and it absorbs virtually all of the UV radiation from the sun; increased rates of sun-induced malignancies (e.g., melanomas) have been attributed to the destruction of the ozone layer. Ozone depletion is caused by the release of chloride ions from CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons) after release from air conditioners, spray cans, and manufacturing plants that produce electronics and plastics.
What is the Ozone Hole?
Our understanding of stratospheric ozone depletion has been obtained through a combination of scientific studies, computer models, and atmospheric observations
In the middle of the 20th century, a collective interest in the human effect on the environment had begun to emerge. Scientists were keenly observing how interference by society in the natural processes of Earth worked out. In the 1970’s, this research led to some interesting observations about the ozone layer and ozone hole of the Earth.
This layer is present in the atmosphere, and it prevents excessive UV radiation from entering into the Earth. It was noticed that there was a steady decline of the ozone in the stratosphere, which comprised of the ozone layer. They also noticed ozone depletion in larger amounts over the two poles of the earth, which is known as the ozone hole.
A layer of gas called ozone sits up around 25-30 kms above the earth’s surface. Ozone is made up of oxygen and is produced naturally in the atmosphere. As the presence of ozone gets reduced in the atmosphere, it causes the ozone layer to get thinner and thinner. The more ozone layer gets thin, the more big gets the size of ozone hole.
Ozone layer is important because it prevents too many harmful ultra violet rays from reaching earth. Ultra violet rays have the capability to destroy plants and animals and can cause skin cancer, cataracts to human beings. Existence of life on earth is possible only because of the presence of ozone layer around the earth.
This ozone depletion was worrisome, because it was taking place at an unprecedented rate.
CFC’s have been banned, especially in aerosol cans and various electrical appliances. There have been many conventions held to discuss the methods that will slowly phase out the use of the gases. However, this has been met with a great deal of resistance from industries that are based on the production and use of the gases.
However, the few known and verifiable effects seen within the environment has been a catalyst for change. One of widespread and long lasting effects has been the public awareness towards the environmental issues facing the planet. As one of the first major man-made problems to be discussed on a public forum, it set the ground for public opinion and action on issues such as pollution, green house gases, global warming and the climate crisis.
It also sparked off renewed research about how weather patterns and natural phenomenon may be disturbed small changes in the atmosphere. Ozone depletion is not as serious as it once was, but nonetheless it has had an impact on the planet.
Scientists have been able to determine a number of consequences related to ozone depletion. First is the increase of UVB (Ultraviolet B) light that enters into the atmosphere. This causes environmental damage and problems in human