The Ozone Layer and Global Warming

Topics: Atmosphere, Earth, Ozone depletion Pages: 2 (576 words) Published: January 31, 2012
Chlorofluorocarbon is one of the various greenhouse gases which are causing the temperature of the Earth to soar. Coincidentally, this is the same gas that was pulled up in the 90s for being a major contributor in the depletion of the ozone layer. Steps were taken to curb the concentration of this gas in the Earth's atmosphere, and they were successful to a significant extent as well. Even though the issue was managed, it did set a new question rolling in the scientific community - Is there any relationship between the ozone layer depletion and global warming causes? Before we move on to the ozone layer and global warming relationship, we need to find out why the ozone layer is important for the planet.

What is the Ozone Layer?
The atmosphere of the Earth plays a crucial role in making it the only planet with life. Basically, the Earth's atmosphere is divided into five layers - stratosphere being one of them. Within the stratosphere, there lies a layer, made of a specialized form of oxygen, known as the ozone layer. The layer is made up of three oxygen atoms, contradictory to the usual two oxygen atoms. With no demarcated boundary, the ozone layer is found between 10 to 20 miles above the surface of the Earth. This layer traps the harmful ultraviolet-B (UV-B) radiation emitted by the Sun, and hence plays a crucial role in supporting life on the Earth. Read more on layers of the Earth's atmosphere.

Ozone Layer Depletion
The ozone layer is threatened by a range of chemicals which tend to destroy it through a series of chemical reactions. These chemicals, such as chlorofluorocarbons, methyl bromide, etc., are released in the atmosphere owing to various anthropogenic causes, including the use of refrigerants (which release CFCs), and the use of insecticides. As these chemicals reach the stratosphere, they tend to destroy the ozone layer. The molecules of these chemicals have the tendency of breaking the ozone molecules, thus hampering their ability to trap...
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