The Ozone Layer and Climate Change Essay

The Ozone Layer and Climate Change Essay

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Since the beginning of the industrial revolution early in the nineteenth century, our ability to change the world around us has become profound. At first, the impact on our planet was almost imperceptible, but as we have grown both in number and technological capability, that influence has grown with us. Lately, the effects of our increased activity have begun to manifest themselves in a multitude of subtle, and some not so subtle ways: we have thinned the ozone layer and may now be starting to change the very climate system upon which we and all other life on Earth depend. In effect, we are experimenting with the future, but unlike performing a laboratory experiment, which can be scrapped and begun anew if it fails, altering the climate is something that cannot be easily undone. Whatever happens, we shall all be forced to live with the consequences for a very long time. The author of Ozone and Climate Change - A Beginner's Guide, Stephen J. Reid, has managed to put one of the most complex environmental problems into the simplest words. But as he has already mentioned, undoing what we have done to the ozone layer is not that simple.

The ozone layer or ozonosphere is the region of the stratosphere containing relatively high concentrations of ozone, a pale blue, highly poisonous gas with a strong odor. Ozone is formed by the action of solar ultraviolet light on oxygen. Ozone at ground level is a health hazard. High concentrations of ozone at ground level are dangerous to breathe and can damage the lungs. Ozone in the upper atmosphere, however, is vital to life. The ozone layer prevents most ultraviolet and other high-energy radiation from penetrating to the earth's surface but does allow through sufficient ultraviolet rays to ...


... middle of paper ...


... on this planet possible.

Works Cited

Lunsford, Andrea A., Ruszkiewicz, John J. The Presence of Others - Third Edition. Boston/New York: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2000, 237-243.

Reid, Stephen J. Ozone and Climate Change - A Beginner's Guide. Singapore: Gordon and Breach Science Publishers, 2000.

Christie, Maureen. The Ozone Layer - A Philosophy of Science Perspective. United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press, 2001.

Grundmann, Reiner. Transnational Environmental Policy - Reconstructing Ozone. London/New York: Routledge, 2001.

Encyclopedia.com. "The Montreal Protocol." December 1, 2002. .

CNN.com - Antarctic Ozone Hole Splits in Two. Richard Stenger. September 30, 2002. December 1, 2002. .

EPA-OAQPS Ozone: Good Up High, Bad Nearby. December 2, 2002. .

An Introduction to the Science of Ozone Depletion: Green Nature. December 2, 2002. .

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