Free Essay

Ozone Depletion

In: Science

Submitted By Buffy13
Words 732
Pages 3
The ozone layer is a specific area in the stratosphere of maximum ozone concentration. Ozone in the stratosphere forms naturally and protects us from damage that can be caused by solar radiation such as skin cancer. In the 1970s chemists discovered that certain chemicals could travel into the upper atmosphere and damage the protective ozone. Ever since this was discovered scientists, government, and citizens have been making efforts to control and reverse the damage done to the ozone. In 1987 a treaty called the Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer was signed by world leaders who were participating in the Vienna Convention on the Protection of the Ozone Layer. Without this protocol the abundances of chlorine would have tripled by 2000. The initial strategy for remedying the damage done to the ozone was to reduce chlorine in the stratosphere by stopping the productions of CFCs. CFC stands for chlorofluorocarbon, which is one of the main causes of ozone depletion. The regions of Antarctica and the Arctic are opposites. The Arctic is a large floating ice mass and Antarctica is two mile thick ice island surrounded by ocean. Because of this the vortex is no where near as strong in the Artic as it is and Antarctica and therefore breaks down much easier and is warmer in the Arctic. So instead of ozone holes there are ozone “donuts” in the Arctic. These holes and “donuts” are the actual depletion of the ozone layer. If there is more climate change in this region then the stratosphere will get cooler and if the ozone starts to deplete then the stratosphere won’t warm up as much and it starts a never ending cycle of depletion. Ozone depletion can occur naturally from volcanic explosions that send particles up into the stratosphere. There is currently enough excess chlorine in the atmosphere that if a volcanic explosion were to occur that puts particles into the stratosphere there could be very large ozone depletions at mid-latitude and latitudes where people are living. I found the NPR story to be very interesting as a whole. Learning about ozone depletion through an interview made the process easier to break down and understand. One particular part of the interview that was interesting to me was when the woman, Adele, called in and asked how chlorine commonly used in swimming pools affected the ozone. Russell Schnell told her that chlorine does not make it up into the stratosphere because it is oxidized. The only way that chlorine gets up into the stratosphere is if it is carried up with chemicals that it is bound to. Once it is in the stratosphere the sunlight breaks off the chlorine. I simply assumed that when someone drains their pool at the end of the summer the water would evaporate and the chlorine would then rise up into the stratosphere. From this I know now that chlorine must be bound to other chemicals in order to make it up that far. In 2011 there was record ozone depletion over the Arctic that is far worse than the holes in the Antarctic’s protective atmospheric layer that first appeared in the 1980s. There are concerns that the Northern Hemisphere may periodically experience harmful levels of ultraviolet radiation in the spring. Chemist Geir Braathen said it was “significantly worse than anything we had ever seen.” Typically spring ozone depletions maxes out at 20 to 30 percent drop but in 2011 there was a loss of about 40 percent. In Antarctica 70 percent of ozone can disappear in the spring time. The ozone layer is vital in protecting us from the harmful effects of ultraviolet radiation. Ozone depletion was increasing from the use of man made chemicals such as aerosols. With the Montreal Protocol and its restriction of certain chemicals the depletion has significantly lessened. Ozone depletion however will be an ongoing struggle for many years due to man made chemicals we release in the air everyday.

Works Cited
Flatow, Ira, writ. "Tracking The Ozone Hole, As It Waxes And Wanes." Perf. Russell Schnell. Talk of the Nation. NPR: WCPN, Cleveland, 12 OCT 2012. Radio. .
Raloff, Janet. "Arctic Ozone Loss At Record Levels." Science News 180.11 (2011): 11.
Academic Search Complete. Web. 15 Feb. 2014. http://proxy.ohiolink.edu:9099/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx? direct=true&db=ulh&AN=67484516&site=eds-live

Similar Documents

Free Essay

Ozone Depletion

...Running Head: OZONE DEPLETION Taylor Graham Ozone Depletion The Ozone Layer The ozone layer prevents most harmful solar ultraviolet light, (UV) from passing through the earth’s atmosphere by absorbing 93-99% of these UV rays. UV rays are potentially damaging to life on earth. The ozone layer is comprised of high concentrations of ozone, (03) and mainly located in the lower portion of the stratosphere (rabbitair.com). The atmosphere of the Earth is divided into 5 layers. From closest and thickest to farthest and thinnest the layers are: troposphere, stratosphere, mesosphere, thermosphere and exosphere. The majority of the atmosphere’s ozone resides in the stratosphere, which extends from 6 miles above the Earth’s surface to 31 miles (Sivasakthivel, 2011). The density of the ozone varies according to the season and also the location. The ozone layer has historically protected the Earth from the harmful UV rays, however in recent decades this protection has diminished due to stratospheric ozone depletion. History of Ozone Depletion Ozone depletion is largely a result of man-made substances. Humans have introduced gases and chemicals into the atmosphere that have rapidly depleted the ozone layer in the last century. The possibility of ozone depletion was first introduced by scientists in the late 1960's as dreams of supersonic transport began to become a reality. Scientists had long been aware that nitric oxide (NO) can catalytically react with ozone (O3) to......

Words: 2388 - Pages: 10

Premium Essay

Ozone Depletion

...The ozone layer diminishes more each year. As the area of polar ozone depletion (commonly called the ozone hole) gets larger, additional ultraviolet rays are allowed to pass through. These rays cause cancer, cataracts, and lowered immunity to diseases.1 What causes the depletion of the ozone layer? In 1970, Crutzen first showed that nitrogen oxides produced by decaying nitrous oxide from soil-borne microbes react catalytically with ozone hastening its depletion. His findings started research on "global biogeochemical cycles" as well as the effects of supersonic transport aircraft that release nitrogen oxide into the stratosphere.2 In 1974, Molina and Rowland found that human-made chlorofluorocarbons used for making foam, cleaning fluids, refrigerants, and repellents transform into ozone-depleting agents.3 Chlorofluorocarbons stay in the atmosphere for several decades due to their long tropospheric lifetimes. These compounds are carried into the stratosphere where they undergo hundreds of catalytic cycles with ozone.4 They are broken down into chlorine atoms by ultraviolet radiation.5 Chlorine acts as the catalyst for breaking down atomic oxygen and molecular ozone into two molecules of molecular oxygen. The basic set of reactions that involve this process are: Cl + O3 -->ClO + O2 and ClO + O -->Cl + O2 The net result: O3 + O -->2O2 ......

Words: 1137 - Pages: 5

Free Essay

Ozone Depletion

...Several attempts have been made to investigate the economic impacts of the problem of a depleted ozone layer. Such attempts meet with many problems. There are good reasons for concern for effects on humans, animals, plants and materials, but most of these cannot be estimated in quantitative terms. Calculating the economic impact of such effects is uncertain. Moreover, economic terms are applicable only to some of the effects, such as the cost of medical treatments, and the loss of production in fisheries and agriculture, and damage to materials Ozone Depletion changes the environment for humans, animals, and plants. Ozone is a gas that occurs both in the Earth's upper atmosphere and at ground level. Ozone can be "good" or "bad" for people's health and for the environment, depending on its location in the atmosphere. Ozone is simply a molecule consisting of 3 oxygen atoms, which reacts strongly with other molecules. Ozone is created in the stratosphere when high energy uv radiation causes on O2 molecule to split. The free oxygen atoms collide and react with other O2 molecules to form O3. Production is highest where the solar UV is the greatest, but once created, the ozone is then circulated towards the poles by the atmosphere. The amount of ozone in the stratosphere can vary with location, season and even day to day climatic conditions. The process of ozone creation is what makes the O3 in the atmosphere very effective at shielding the Earth from harmful UV radiation,......

Words: 469 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Essay On Ozone Depletion

...Ozone depletion is a man made phenomena which industries release CFC (chlorofluorocarbons), rising up to the upper atmosphere exposing to high energy UV radiation from the Sun. Even though that CFC has low reactivity, flammability and toxicity, it remains inert in the troposphere as they disseminate among the stratosphere whereas the UV rays strikes the CFCs molecules and releases chlorine. The chemical reacts with ozone (O3/oxygen), a natural combination of O2 (oxygen) molecules and free oxygen atoms (O1) splitted by O2, by striking an ozone (O3) it leaves chlorine monoxide and an oxygen molecule, resulting in a loss of oxygen. This situation brings unfavorable results and consequences on living beings. It may cause human skin cancer and cataracts, affecting a plant’s formation, developmental process and nutrients absorbing; also implicating on their predators. Like plants, it is also a threat to the growth of marine and water ecosystems, and it affects the natural balance of gases, which, considered as biogeochemical cycles. The ozone layer can only be recovered by its own as we prevent releasing chlorine, such as replacing chlorofluorocarbon with chemicals with alike properties. This...

Words: 805 - Pages: 4

Free Essay

Ozone Layer

...What is the ozone layer and why is it important? The ozone layer is a concentration of ozone molecules in the stratosphere. About 90% of the planet's ozone is in the ozone layer. The layer of the Earth's atmosphere that surrounds us is called the troposphere. The stratosphere, the next higher layer, extends about 10-50 kilometers above the Earth's surface. Stratospheric ozone is a naturally-occurring gas that filters the sun's ultraviolet (UV) radiation. A diminished ozone layer allows more radiation to reach the Earth's surface. For people, overexposure to UV rays can lead to skin cancer, cataracts, and weakened immune systems. Increased UV can also lead to reduced crop yield and disruptions in the marine food chain. How does ozone depletion occur? It is caused by the release of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), hydrofluorocarbons (HCFCs), and other ozone-depleting substances (ODS), which were used widely as refrigerants, insulating foams, and solvents. The discussion below focuses on CFCs, but is relevant to all ODS. Although CFCs are heavier than air, they are eventually carried into the stratosphere in a process that can take as long as 2 to 5 years. Measurements of CFCs in the stratosphere are made from balloons, aircraft, and satellites. When CFCs and HCFCs reach the stratosphere, the ultraviolet radiation from the sun causes them to break apart and release chlorine atoms which react with ozone, starting chemical cycles of ozone destruction that deplete the ozone layer.......

Words: 715 - Pages: 3

Free Essay

Globalisation

...petroleum are depleting and sadly they take millennia to replenish. The demand for these resources however does not pause to sustain the natural resources supply due to globalization. In fact, there is a greater encouragement to extract these resources more frequently and in large quantity as they are easily traded to other parts of the world. Globalization also leads to environmental pollution. According to Trapp, “pollution is the forerunner of perdition.” Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) produced by industrial factories that have increased in number were found to be the main factor for the depletion of ozone layer. In a 2001 report, NASA found the ozone hole over Antarctica had remained the same size for the previous three years; however in 2003 the ozone hole grew to its second largest size. Hence, environmental pollution by globalization leads to another negative effect such as the depletion of ozone layer. Nevertheless, globalization helps the countries to achieve better environment. As the countries are advancing, they will learn to have better environment. Gahr (2011)...

Words: 368 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Environmental Law

...Introduction The aim of this paper is to discuss the role of the law and science in moving us towards a more sustainable future. This will be done with the aid of selected global environmental treaties. In order to achieve this aim, the paper is going to begin with an introduction which is going to define key concepts identified. The main body will embark on the discussion at hand. The main body will begin by outlining the role of the law generally and will move on to look at the role of science generally. Thereon selected global treaties will be discussed in relation to their respective roles both at law and science. Lastly but not the least an elaborate conclusion will be given. Definition of Key Terms Environment: Environment refers to the totality of the surroundings within which humans live and exploit resources for their welfare and development. Main Body In order to effectively challenge problems that pose a threat to the earth, there is need for an effective approach which is backed by robust scientific evidence. This would ultimately usher into place a new and more powerful environmental law. In order to appreciate the relationship between the law and science, there is need for understanding of their respective roles towards the achievement of a more sustainable future. The Role of the Law The law has a fundamental role to play in the movement of protecting the environment towards a more sustainable future. In most jurisdictions in the absence of......

Words: 3209 - Pages: 13

Premium Essay

Effect of Broken Family in the Learning of Student.

...of the plant, the processes were made more efficient as the paper size and the ink alignment were consistently maintained. The Carrier Air Conditioning Company of America was established by him to meet the demand of better productivity in the workplace. Today, Carrier Corporation is the biggest air conditioner manufacturer and marketing corporation in the world in central air conditioning. The discovery of Freon in 1928 by Thomas Midgley, Jr., a safer refrigerant to humans compared to the toxic and flammable gases such as ammonia, propane and methyl chloride sparks the invention of air conditioning systems for residential, industrial and commercial applications. Unfortunately, the use of CFC and HCFC refrigerants are causing the depletion of ozone...

Words: 749 - Pages: 3

Free Essay

No Paper at This Pont

...effective tool for controlling ozone depletion? INTRODUCTION For centuries, human activity has been altering the natural environment. Science has been preoccupied by how these changes affect the earth's natural support system and the impact that might have on life form, particularly man. The effects of most human activities are more or less fully understood, from the contribution of pollution to global warning, to the link between deforestation and the advancement of the desert. Yet, some man made phenomenon still require investigation to be fully characterised. One of these is the depletion of the ozone layer, the band of ozone molecules that occur in the upper atmosphere, which is known to protect the surface of the earth from potentially harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun. The processes that lead to its depletion and increased passage of the sun's UV radiations due to ozone loss are fully understood, but its full impact on the natural environment is still inconclusive. There has for example, been no direct link between skin cancers and exposure to UV radiation. Such limitations from the best available science is the basis for the precautionary principle in environmental management. The global community has not waited to have a clear understanding of the threat posed by high UV radiations resulting from ozone depletion to take steps to keep the protective ozone layer in tact. The Vienna Convention on the Protecting of the Ozone layer was signed in 1985. In......

Words: 4008 - Pages: 17

Free Essay

Global Warming

...land, which in turn makes it warm. Number three infrared rays that are remitted, into the atmosphere are trapped by greenhouse gases. Number four the gas then absorbs the light and is remitted back to the Earth/-Es surface and warms it even more. Some of the naturally occurring greenhouse gases are Methane and carbon dioxide. This is the way the Earth keeps itself warm enough for mammals to live on it. The only problem with this is that humans enhance the process even more. Over the One Hundred and fifty years the emissions of greenhouse gases have been increasing due to the increase in technology that humans have developed (example, factories, Automobiles). These human- induced gases include carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and ozone depleting substances such as CFCs, also known as Chlorofluorocarbons, hydro fluorocarbons, and per fluorocarbons, These gases are generated a number of human activities such as fossil fuel combustion, waste disposal in landfills, the use of refrigerator, numerous agricultural and industrial activities, and the cutting down of numerous forests. These human practices have already changed the chemical make up of the atmosphere. When comparing One hundred and fifty years ago and today, we have seen the concentration of carbon dioxide rise up to Thirty percent in some regions, especially in the Northern hemisphere, human practices have increased concentrations of...

Words: 1543 - Pages: 7

Free Essay

Atmospheric Issues

...Atmospheric Issues The Ozone layer is extremely important to sustain life on this planet. This layer which is located between 6 and 28 miles about the earths’ crust is slowly decreasing. Although scientists feel the thinning of the ozone layer is a natural occurrence, they also know humans are making it worse. Humans use products that emit pollutions that are increasing the thinning of the ozone layer which is increasing yearly. The primary pollutant and contributor to ozone depletion is a group of compounds called chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). Freon is a common CFC used in aerosol cans as propellants as well as coolants in air conditioners and refrigerators. CFCs are also used to propel insulation and packing materials such as Styrofoam. In addition to CFCs there are other compounds that contribute to ozone depletion. These compounds include: “halons, industrial solvents; and nitrous oxide, used as fire retardants; methyl bromide, a pesticide; methyl chloroform and carbon tetrachloride, released from the burning of fossil fuels like coal and from the breakdown of nitrogen fertilizers in the soil.” (Berg & Hager 2007). As a result of these air pollutants destroying the ozone, increased levels of ultraviolet rays cause both health and environmental problems. Some health problems associated with this issue includes skin cancer. Skin cancers like Squamous cell carcinoma, (SCC) Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and Malignant Melanoma (MM) are all proven to have......

Words: 585 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Cfc's

...The Study of Chlorofluorocarbons | | | | | | Prepared by: Ana Cloriana Bonan Harlene Buenavista Blanch Marie Gueco Angel Kazumi Sioson Gian Micah Cesa PROBLEM: How do CFCs products such as refrigerants, aerosols, and plant factory emissions affect the status of the ozone layer in the atmosphere? HYPOTHESIS: CFC strongly contributes to the depletion of the ozone layer in the atmosphere. OBJECTIVES: * To measure the amount of CFCs release from refrigerants, aerosols, emissions of factories and other products and materials that contain CFCs. * To determine the degree of CFCs in the ozone layer. * To quantify the percentage between different elements and chemicals that CFC contain. CHLOROFLUOROCARBON Significance of the Study This study will contribute to scientific research as statistical data about chlorofluorocarbons. As a further matter, it will give more ideas on how to promote vigorous conditions in the ecosystem in order to raise awareness of imminent dangers of using chlorofluorocarbons. It will help us how to fathom/understand the situations of some hurdles in the environment that might cause by CFCs. It will also assist folk on how they will grasp the drawbacks of the chemicals usage by being well-informed about it. They will be more clued in about being detrimental of the matter as well. Nevertheless, this study will furnish information concerning the substance which can cause......

Words: 4218 - Pages: 17

Premium Essay

Global Warming

...Introduction From man’s basic understanding of existence, he acknowledges that his presence is but a fraction in time in relation to the longevity of the Earth’s existence. This attests to the time period in which the Earth functions. Man’s calculations of year to year changes in the Earth’s atmosphere are meager at best in determining the cycle for such an entity. Man’s oldest data dating back from ice core samples from Antarctica can not trace back further than a minute percent of the history of the billions of years that the Earth has existed. (Relatively) recently, Earth has endured "naturally occurring" Ice Ages, meteorological disasters, and the evolution of man and his technology. So the question is raised, is mankind bold in thinking that anything it does collectively will scar the Earth beyond repair? Man might change the Earth’s surface, man might obliterate his own existence, but man will not change the propensity for nature to allow the continuation of life. Debate on Global Warming So, what is man doing for mankind? There is a general concensus that one of the greatest dangers man is imposing upon himself is that of a global change in the atmosphere, causing the average temperature on Earth to increase. Before any discussion can begin on how to go about fixing the problem of global warming, it is improtant to point out that the problem is more basic than otherwise understood. The problem is not global waring, it is how to deal with the......

Words: 1769 - Pages: 8

Premium Essay

Case in Point

...whaling steadily reduced the number of large baleen whales in Antarctic waters. As a result, of fewer whales eating krill, more krill became available for other krill-eating animals, whose populations increased. Now that commercial whaling is regulated, it is hoped that the number of large baleen whales will slowly increase, and that appears to be the case for some species. However, the populations of most baleen whales in the Southern Hemisphere are still a fraction of their pre-whaling levels. It is not known whether baleen whales will return to their former position of dominance in terms of krill consumption in the food web. Biologists will monitor changes in the Antarctic food web as the whale populations recover. Thinning of the ozone layer in the stratospheric region of...

Words: 638 - Pages: 3

Free Essay

Technology

...People who live in the present century have got not only a large amount of benefits from technology but also some problems. To transfer from city to city by using a car which provides us convenience but it brings pollution to the environment concurrently. To work with a computer saves our time but internet also wastes our time more or less. These problems are all relating to our daily life;however, there are some feasible solutions. First of all, technology has improved our transportation but it has created pollution at the same time. People use a car to travel which is fast and convenient, but the gas from cars destroys the ozone layer;meanwhile, it also makes our living atmosphere become worse. The direct result of this problem is the temperature is getting higher because of the ozone depletion, and people’s health is not as good as before is the result of using a car for a long time but lack of activities. Furthermore, computer is the most useful and necessary invention for both our working and amusement nowadays; on the other hand, it also has some disadvantages. We use a computer as an assistant when we are studying, we use a computer as an important tool when we are doing some programs and we also use a computer as a machine to play games when we are free. There are a lot of teenagers wasting their time to play online games without self-control. It is becoming a serious situation because a lot of students are influenced by this problem. To deal with these two......

Words: 399 - Pages: 2