What is the Ozone layer?


The Ozone Layer – WHAT is it and WHY are we concerned?

The ozone layer is a deep layer in the stratosphere which is made up of high concentrations of ozone (a pungent gas, made up of molecules of 3 oxygen atoms, that is naturally produced in the atmosphere). Encircling the entire Earth, the ozone layer shields us from much of the harmful ultraviolet radiation that comes from the sun.

Now that we’ve established what the ozone layer is, why exactly is there a cause for concern?

Here’s why-

Oh-no-zone? Over the past few decades, the  over-release of chlorofluorocarbons(CFCs) and other halogenated ozone depleting substances (ODS) into the atmosphere has been responsible for destroying ozone (We’ll only focus on CFCs ). As the presence of ozone gets reduced in the atmosphere, it causes the ozone layer to get thinner and thinner. The severe depletion of the ozone layer above the Antarctic has resulted in the phenomenon known as the “ozone hole”  which has plagued scientists around the globe for years in fear of its expansion. This continual depletion of the ozone layer has potential devastating consequences on humans, animals and plants which typically result from higher UV levels reaching us on earth.


More about the benefits of the ozone layer..

There are 3 types of UV rays being emitted from the sun which are harmful to life on Earth– UV-A, UV-B, and UV-C, with UV-C being the most harmful follwed by UV-B and UV-A.

Source: www.phonesoap.com

The Ozone layer prevents the extremely harmful ultra violet rays UV-C and some UV-B from reaching earth.

Center for Global Environmental Research, National Institute for Environmental Studies Japan

Ultra violet rays have the capability to destroy plants and animals and can cause biological damage like skin cancer, tissue damage to eyes in human beings. Existence of life on earth is possible only because of the presence of ozone layer around the earth. The protective role of the ozone layer in the upper atmosphere is so vital that scientists believe life on land probably would not have evolved – and could not exist today – without it.






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