Its chemical formula is O3. It is formed when a molecule of oxygen is hit by ultraviolet radiation (UV), which disassociates the oxygen molecule into separate atoms. These atoms then combine with another molecule of oxygen making ozone. (Kunstmaan 1) Ozone is vitally important to the atmosphere and therefore, to us people down on earth’s surface. But we are depleting the amount of it that we still have with chlorofluorocarbons and other harmful gases.
Our Radiant Planet: Depletion of the Ozone Layer Ozone is a relatively unstable form of molecular oxygen containing three oxygen atoms produced when upper-atmosphere oxygen molecules are split by ultra violet light. Stratospheric ozone is found in a broad band, extending generally from 15 to 35km above the earth. Although the ozone layer is surprisingly thin, it acts as a protective shield to the earth, as it filters out most of the harmful solar ultraviolet radiation (in particular UV-B) that would otherwise reach our planets surface. Humans have damaged the ozone layer by adding molecules containing chlorine and/or bromine that lead to ozone destruction. The largest group among these are chloroflurocarbons (CFC's).
Ozone is a thin protective layer that starts nine miles up in the air and continues up in the sky thirty-one miles (Kellner 20). It serves as a screen against the sun’s harmful UV rays by protecting plants and animals, as well as people from skin cancer, immune system problems, and eye disorders, such as cataracts (Ozone Treaties). Ozone is a gas, often a bluish color, made up of three oxygen atoms instead of the typical two. Ozone forms when solar ultraviolet rays and oxygen molecules meet. The result of the meeting is free oxygen molecules that form to regular oxygen molecules to create ozone molecules.
The absorption of solar radiation by the nitrogen dioxide results in the formation of ozone (O3). Ozone reacts with many different hydrocarbons to produce a brownish-yellow gaseous cloud which may contain numerous chemical compounds, the combination of which, we call photochemical smog. Both types of smog can greatly reduce visibility. Even more importantly, they pose a serious threat to our health. They form as a result of extremely high concentrations of pollutants that are trapped near the surface by a temperature
First the sun passes through the clear atmosphere with its solar rays which then reach the earth's surface. Then, about 70% of the sun’s solar rays are absorbed by the earth surface making the temperature rise while the rest go back into the atmosphere. Some of the rays escape back out into space, while some are absorbed by gases in the atmosphere. These gases are important because they allow the sun to heat the earth and then the gases get trapped, making the earth warmer. They trap the heat like a big blanket to maintain the planet at a stable temperature.
Ultraviolet radiation from the sun has the capacity to seriously harm the planet Earth and all of its life forms. To prevent this from happening there is a layer of oxygen in the atmosphere called the ozone layer. The ozone layer is responsible for absorbing almost all of the ultraviolet radiation, causing temperatures at the top layers to reach about 30 degrees Fahrenheit. Atmospheric oxygen is then turned into ozone by the energy of the ultraviolet light, “which is oxygen with three atoms in each molecule.” Normally oxygen has only two atoms to a molecule (Ultraviolet Radiation 2005). Due to chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and other pollutants from factories, the ozone layer has been thinning out or even disappearing over some parts of the world.
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.
Over the past decades, scientists have begun to study the atmosphere and the ozone layer. They have noticed a marked reduction in the amount of ozone that is protecting the earth from the sun's harmful UV rays. Before, the am... ... middle of paper ... ...required transit use). As a reward however, there could be a minor tax refund, or free mass transit pass (for fares) given to those which use the transit system more than the amount of times required by the city ordinance. In conclusion, ozone is a very necessary and beneficial component of our atmosphere, which servers to block the harmful UV radiation generated by the sun.
So, it is evident that the ozone layer plays a vital role in what happens to the lives of humans. The presence of the ozone layer in our atmosphere is of vital importance to everything in the Earth. There are two types of ozone, "good ozone" and "bad ozone." Ozone in the stratosphere is referred to as being "good ozone," because it shields Earth from destructive ultraviolet radiation. The remaining 10 percent of the ozone, the "bad ozone," lie closely to the planet’s surface, in the troposhere, where at certain areas it is harmful to the public's health and welfare (Turekian 1).
Radiation with sufficient intensity, is capable of separating the O3 molecule, resulting in photodissociation. The cyclic process formation and decomposition of ozone provides a shield against ultraviolet radiation that enter the earth's atmosphere. If it were not for the chemical reaction of radiation and ozone in the stratosphere, these high-energy photons would penetrate the earth's surface. The ozone layer absorbers about 99% of the harmful radiation which makes it possible for animals and plants to live on the planet. In 1974, F. Sherwood Rowland and Mario Molina of the University of California proposed that chlorine from chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) could deplete the ozone layer.