Pollution Essay: Climate Change

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Energy is the capacity for doing work, generating heat, and producing light. We use energy from the time we wake up until the time we go to sleep at night. Without energy we would not be able to perform the daily functions of life. Although energy is useful to us, energy has a down side. One of the topics discussed in class was electromagnetic energy. During the lecture on electromagnetic energy, the concept of the ozone layer and global warming was discussed. We briefly talked about how the ozone layer was disappearing because of the increasing amount of greenhouse gases. These topics of electromagnetic energy and the atmosphere struck me. Therefore, I decided to explore the subjects of the ozone layer, greenhouse effect, and the dangers of global warming.

Electromagnetic energy travels by wavelengths of radiation and moves at the speed of light. There are many forms of electromagnetic energy that we use, including X- rays, microwaves, television, and radio. Another form of electromagnetic energy that we do not usually think about is ultraviolet radiation, which is produced by the sun. 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. History seems to go back thirty years: “In the mid-1980’s scientists discovered a ‘hole’ – an area where the ozone is up to 50% thinner than normal” (Ozone Layer 2005). If this continues to occur the ozone layer will disappear and skin cancer, certain eye diseases, and other harmful effects could become more prevalent.

Although the ozone layer captures ultraviolet radiation, the atmosphere does allow visible light from the sun to enter the Earth’s surface.

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