Ozone Layer Depletion

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Ozone Layer Depletion

Ozone is a natural trace component of the atmosphere. It is created continuously through

the action of sunlight and oxygen in the upper atmosphere. At the same time this destroyed by

various reactions with other components in the air. The next result of these natural processes is the

so-called ozone layer in the stratosphere at altitudes between 15 and 50 kilometers in which the

concentration of the ozone is raised. Ozone is a colorless gas, a form of oxygen. However, an

ordinary molecule of oxygen contains two atoms. Because of ozone's composition, it is reactive. It

readily combines with whatever materials it comes in contact with, including such biological

substances as cells and tissues.

Far above the earth, ozone forms naturally as oxygen produced from living things moves

from the troposphere, the layer of air nearest to the earth surface, to the stratosphere. Air in the

stratosphere absorbs solar energy, or heat from the sun, which in turn creates a photochemical

reaction that produces ozone - a benefit to the environment since ozone protects people, plants, and

animals from harmful radiation (Health effects of....).

The ozone layer is important because it absorbs most of the damaging ultra-violet radiation

from the sun before it reaches ground level, where it can cause sun burn, skin cancer and cataracts.

Research suggests that any additional UV-B (ultra-violet radiation) at ground level could depress our

bodies' immune systems, damage the natural food chain and reduce crop yields. Although ozone

makes up less that 1ppm of all the gases in our planet's atmosphere, but it is essential to life on

earth. Scientists assume...

... middle of paper ...

...in halons - buy the type

filled with a more environmentally safe chemical. If you could join with millions of people across the

nation in conservation efforts designed to protect the environment from atmospheric pollutants,

fossil fuel consumption - and the release of hazardous chemical substances would certainly

decrease. Whatever each of us can do to protect our global commons, it seems crucial to begin

those efforts now, to use a much quoted phrase:" We are all in this together." All of us need to

work in our own particular ways to be caretaker of the earth.

Bibliography:

"Health effects of Overexposure to the sun." 22 March

2000. (23 March 2000).

"Ozone Science: The facts behind the phaseout." 22

March 2000. (23 March 2000).

"Grave threat to Earth's protective ozone layer." (2 April 2000).

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