The average surface temperature on Earth has increased approximately 1.0°F in the past century, and it is projected that it will again increase somewhere two and nine degrees by the year 2100. This is the expected effect of increased greenhouse gases, which contain the Sun's energy (heat) in the lower atmosphere (troposphere). Much of the increase in these gases can be considered a natural occurrence, however, at least some of it is human induced. The depletion of the ozone (O3) layer is negatively affecting our ecosystem, by way of global warming and climate change.
Some of the benefits of the O3 layer in the stratosphere (outer layer of the Earth's atmosphere) are: that it provides us with blue skies; it protects man and vegetation from the harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays of the sun, and traps the proper amount of heat within the Earth's atmosphere to sustain life. While O2 is colorless, O3 is blue in color; without enough of it, our skies might not be so blue. Not only can UV cause skin cancer in people. if enough of it reaches the troposphere, it can negatively affect plant growth (food), which is a great part of our ecosystem.
Damage to the ecosystem is caused primarily by the depletion of the O3 layer, which is about ten miles above the Earth's surface. This occurs largely as a result of the pollutants (unnatural greenhouse gases) that are, or were, spewed into the air by man. The burning of fossil fuels now causes most of this: in our cars, trucks, power plants, etc. Until the latter part of the 20th century, it was the atmospheric release of chlorofluorocarbons (CFC's). These were a result of manufactured chlorine compounds, such as aerosol propellants and...
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...ent from U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: Jun. 1996 The Management Institute for Environment and Business. 19 Apr. 2004
Thorpe, Beverley. Citizen's Guide to Clean Production. Lowell, MA: Clean Production Network, 1999.
United Nations Environment Program. Government Strategies and Policies for Cleaner Production. United Nations Environment Program, 2001.
University of Western Ontario. "Case study for the 4th year course in ecosystem health ozone depletion." (n.d.). Ecosystem Health. 18 Apr. 2004
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