Sunday, January 13, 2013

What Is The Ozone Layer??

Many of us have probably heard about how the ozone layer is getting thinner and thinner, and how this could cause future deadly consequences. We always hear stories about the ozone layer, but how many of us really know what it is? Well, if you are one of those people who needs to know more facts about what the ozone layer really is; then this is a good article for you because I am going to give you some information on what you need to know about the ozone layer.

What is the Ozone Layer?
Ozone (O3) is a naturally occurring gas in the atmosphere, therefore, the ozone layer is a layer in the stratosphere, approximately 12 to 20 miles above the surface of the Earth, that contains relatively high concentrations of ozone.

The ozone layer absorbs about 99% of the Sun's Ultraviolet Radiation that could potentially hurt all life forms on Earth. It is like a blanket that covers the Earth for protection.

What is Ozone (O3)?

Ozone is created when the Sun's Ultraviolet rays hit the oxygen molecules containing 2 oxygen atoms (O2) in the atmosphere. This reaction between the UV rays and the oxygen splits the O2 into individual oxygen atoms. The individual oxygen atoms then combine with the O2 molecules that were not split, therefore, creating Ozone (O3).

The Issues about the Ozone Layer
The Ozone layer was discovered to be depleting about 50 years ago, and it was proven that chemicals like Chlorofluorocarbons (CFC) were contributing to the depletion of the layer. When scientists discovered this international treaties were established to prevent further depletion. Since the treaties to reduce chemicals harmful to the Ozone layer were passed, the ozone layer is expected to recover in the next 5 decades.

Ozone is a greenhouse gas, and since it is a greenhouse gas, that means it plays a vital role in the Earth's climate. Therefore, an increase in other primary greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide will interfere with the recovery of the Ozone layer. Just like if a man starts taking steroids, which are basically artificially made testosterone; the steroids end up replacing the testosterone that is naturally made by the body and eventually the body stops making the testosterone. That it why it is important that we still reduce our carbon footprint because if we don't, we will eventually suffer the consequences of a depleted ozone layer.

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