the

Importance of the Ozone Layer

the Earth's atmosphere is what makes

life on Earth possible this atmosphere

protects us from harmful radiations of

the Sun and helps maintain the earth's

temperature by trapping some of the heat

that enters the atmosphere

the Earth's atmosphere is divided into

five layers depending upon the

temperature

the second layer known as stratosphere

holds a very important shield that

protects us from the sun's harmful

ultraviolet radiation and only lets in

the good rays this important shield is

known as the ozone layer

ozone is a gas with three atoms of

oxygen in a molecule and the formula is

oh three

the highest concentration of the ozone

gas is found in the stratosphere but its

amount is still less compared to the

other gases present in the stratosphere

despite its small amount the ozone layer

performs a very important function it

blocks the harmful ultraviolet

radiations of the Sun from reaching the

Earth's surface

the ultraviolet radiations of the Sun

can be very harmful for us it can cause

skin cancer blindness a weak immune

system and many other diseases the ozone

layer protects us from these harmful

ultraviolet rays by absorbing about 98%

of them but due to human activities this

protective layer is in danger in the

1980s scientists discovered that the

amount of ozone gas in the Earth's

atmosphere had decreased it was also

reported that 70% of the ozone layer was

reduced above Antarctica

this reduction of the ozone layer was

referred to as ozone depletion or the

ozone hole

the depletion of the ozone layer is

mainly caused by chemicals such as

chlorofluorocarbons or CFCs

hydrofluorocarbons and other

ozone-depleting substances

these chemicals are mostly found in

sprays refrigerants used in air

conditioners and refrigerators and

plastic products chlorofluorocarbons are

molecules made up of chlorine

Florine

and carbon when a chlorofluorocarbon

molecule is released into the Earth's

atmosphere the ultraviolet rays of the

Sun cause it to break up and release a

chlorine atom the ozone molecule is

highly reactive as it reacts with a

chlorine atom it produces a single

oxygen molecule and chlorine monoxide

chlorine monoxide further reacts with

another ozone molecule to produce

another chlorine atom which further

reacts with more ozone molecules the

chlorine atom is highly reactive

this results in the thinning of the

ozone layer in the atmosphere

as a result the harmful ultraviolet rays

penetrate through the atmosphere and

reach the Earth's surface these harmful

rays may affect human health by causing

skin cancer blindness and a weak immune

system these rays also affect plant

growth and ocean life

thus disturbing the entire ecosystem in

2016 it was reported that the amount of

chlorine and other ozone depleting

substances and the atmosphere had been

reduced and the ozone hole was gradually

healing

it is estimated that if we continue to

take measures to heal the ozone layer by

prohibiting the use of ozone depleting

substances the level of ozone will

return to the pre 1980s levels by 2075

let's summarize what we have learned

today the ozone layer is present in the

stratosphere the second layer of the

Earth's atmosphere the ozone layer

absorbs harmful ultraviolet rays of the

Sun and prevents them from reaching the

Earth's surface

the ultraviolet radiations of the Sun

can cause skin cancer blindness and

other harmful diseases it can also

affect the growth of plants

chlorofluorocarbons hydrofluorocarbons

and other ozone-depleting substances

from refrigerants sprays and plastic

materials react with the ozone molecules

in the stratosphere this results in the

depletion of the ozone layer

the use of ozone depleting substances

should be banned in order to prevent

those on their from disappearing

completely