The Effects of Ozone Depletion Essay

The Effects of Ozone Depletion Essay

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The ozone layer is a deep layer in the Earth’s stratosphere that has an altitude of about 6.2 miles and contains a high concentration of ozone molecules. The ozone layer shields the entire Earth from some of the harmful ultraviolet rays that come from the sun. The Earth’s atmosphere is composed of several layers, but the layer that we live in - the “troposphere” – is where most weather occurs. Above the troposphere is the stratosphere which is where most of the effects caused by ozone holes and global warming originate. The ozone layer absorbs 97% to about 99% of the Sun’s medium-frequency ultraviolet light which could otherwise potentially harm and damage exposed life forms on the surface of the Earth. There are three main types of ultraviolet light which are produced from the Sun: UV-A radiation, UV-B radiation and UV-C radiation. UV-A has a long wavelength of about 315 to 400 nanometers from the sun and is considered a “black light” which is not strongly absorbed by the Earth’s ozone. UV-B has a medium wave length of about 315 to 280 nanometers which is mostly absorbed by the ozone layer. Human exposure to UV-B rays increases the risk of skin cancer, a weakened immune system, and cataracts. Additionally, UV-B exposure can also damage single cell organisms, terrestrial plant life, and aquatic ecosystems. UV-C has a short wave length of 280 to 100 nanometers and is completely absorbed by the ozone layer and the atmosphere. UV-C has a variety of positive uses, but the most unique is that it contributes to food, air, and water purification.
For the billion years that the Earth has been here, ozone molecules in the atmosphere have protected life on Earth from the effects of ultraviolet rays that the Sun produces. In the...


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"Health and Environmental Effects of Ozone Layer Depletion | Science | Ozone Layer Protection | US EPA." EPA. Environmental Protection Agency, n.d. Web. 05 Apr. 2014. .
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