Effects of Ozone Depletion
Buena Vista University
“Prepared for Laura Brauhn’s Globalism Seminar”
This paper will explore what exactly ozone depletion is. It will talk about the definition of ozone depletion and what some of the things are that causes it. This paper will connect global warming with ozone depletion. This paper will give you examples of both biological and environmental. The main thing this paper will talk about is verification that the ozone layer is getting smaller. It will talk about the technologies that are used to test the ozone layer and exactly how much smaller it is getting.
Keywords: ozone depletion, global warming, verification, technologies
Effects of Ozone Depletion
Have you ever wondered what protects us from the Sun’s violent rays? Well that would be the ozone layer. Without the ozone layer the sun would burn many different things up on earth, including us as humans. There are lots of concerns that the ozone layer is depleting. There are certain causes for this and most of them have to do with the choices we are making her on earth.
The ozone layer is a belt of naturally occurring ozone gas. The ozone layer sits 9.3 to 18.6 miles above Earth and serves as a shield, protecting us from the harmful ultraviolent B radiation emitted by the sun. The ozone is a highly reactive molecule that contains three oxygen atoms. It is constantly being formed and broken down in the high atmosphere region called the stratosphere . Ozone depletion, which is what everyone is concerned about, is the destruction of the upper atmospheric layer of ozone gas, caused by substances formed from breakdown of ozone depleting substances.
There are many concerns that the ozone layer is deteriorating due to the release of pollution containing the chemicals chlorine and bromine. These chemicals are called “ozone-depleting substances” (ODS). ODS are very stable, nontoxic and environmentally safe in the lower atmosphere, which is how they came so popular in the first place. The bad thing is their very stability allows them to float up, intact, to the stratosphere. Chlorine and bromine destroy the ozone layer at a rapid rate. They do so by stripping an atom from the ozone molecule. One single molecule of chlorine can break apart thousands of molecules of ozone.
Another chemical that mainly plays the largest roll in the deterioration of ozone is chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). This chemical is found mainly in spray aerosols heavily used by industrialized nations for much of the past 50 years. When CFCs reach the upper atmosphere, they get exposed to ultraviolent rays. This causes them to break down into substances that include chlorine. The chlorine reacts with the oxygen atoms in the ozone and tears apart the ozone molecule .
Halons also play a role in breaking down the ozone layer. Halons are used in specialized fire extinguishers. The main problem with halons is they can destroy up to 10 times as much ozone as CFCs can. This is the main reason halons are the most serious ozone-depleting group of chemicals. Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) are being developed to replace CFCs and halons. They are uses are for vehicle air conditioning. HFCs do not deplete ozone, but they are strong greenhouse gases. CFCs are even more powerful contributors to global climate change. HFCs are still a better option until a safer substitutes are discovered.
Global warming is not the cause of the ozone depletion. They are connected in another way. The ultraviolent radiation from global warming represents less than once percent of the energy from the sun. That’s no enough to be the excess heat from human activities. Global warming is caused by putting too much carbon into the atmosphere when coal, gas, and oil are burned to generate electricity or to run our cars. The gases spread through the planet like a blanket, capturing the solar heat...