The Ozone Layer
It acts as a sun block and filters out the dangerous ultra-violet rays from the sun ("The Chemistry of the Ozone Layer"). The Earth's atmosphere is broken up into two layers that have to do with ozone ("Ozone Layer"). The troposphere is the lowest layer ("Ozone Layer"). It extends from Earth's surface up to about ten kilometers in altitude ("Ozone Layer"). All most all human activities happen in this layer ("Ozone Layer"). The next layer is the stratosphere ("Ozone Layer"). It continues from ten kilometers to fifty kilometers above Earth ("Ozone Layer"). All most all airplanes fly in the lowest part of this layer ("Ozone Layer"). 80 percent of the protective ozone layer is in the lower stratosphere ("Ozone Loss Declining"). "Stratospheric ozone is created by the sun's ultra-violet radiation, which splits apart molecules of oxygen producing oxygen atoms that combine with other oxygen molecules to form ozone" (Edelson 19). The Ozone Layer is most concentrated between twelve and twenty miles above Earth (Fisher 14). The Ozone Layer protects Earth from ultra-violet rays from the sun ("The Chemistry of the Ozone Layer"). Humans and most animals would not survive without the Ozone Layer to protect them (Fisher 14).
In 1984 the ozone hole over Antarctica was discovered and people began monitoring the Ozone Layer ("The Chemistry of the Ozone Layer"). An ozone hole is made when the amount of ozone decreases by up to fifty percent for two or more months (Stoker 894). Ozone is a naturally occurring gas found in the stratosphere and the troposphere ("Ozone Layer"). "Unlike oxygen, ozone is a poisonous gas and an increase in its concentration at ground-level is not something that we want and can be harmful"
(Ozone Depletion). To measure the amount of ozone in the upper atmosphere, scientists use instruments on aircrafts, balloons, and satellites (Stoker 894). "Scientists around the world regularly monitor ozone-depleting substances and the amount of ozone in the stratosphere. In Australia the Australian Bureau of Meteorology and the CSIRO Division of Atmospheric Research jointly manage the Cape Grim Baseline Air Pollution Station location located in remote north-western Tasmania" ("Ozone Depletion 1). "Until recently, the total amount of ozone usually stays constant because its formation and destruction occur at about the same rate but human activity changed the natural balance" ("Ozone Depletion"). The hole over Antarctica was all most the same size as the United States in October of 1987 ("The Chemistry of the Ozone Layer"). Antarctica's winter weather produces chemicals that can destroy ozone which made its hole larger than others (Stoker 894). Another contribution to the much larger hole over Antarctica is during the spring time more sunlight triggers chemical reactions that destroy ozone (Stoker 894) and "the air above Antarctica is isolated from the rest of the atmosphere" ("Ozone Depletion"). "The ozone depleting reactions take place only under certain conditions in the atmosphere like in extreme cold, darkness and isolation, followed by exposure to light which occur over the polar regions after the long polar winter has finished and spring begins" ("Ozone Depletion"). "The National Academy of Sciences estimated ozone destruction to be caused by chlorofluorocarbons also known as CFC's ("The Chemistry of the Ozone Layer"). CFC's are less harmful near the Earth's surface but they destroy ozone much faster then the ozone can be formed or reformed ("Ozone Depletion"). In 1980 they estimated that it caused eighteen percent of the destruction,
seven percent in 1982, and two to four percent in 1984" (Edelson 19). The depletion of the Ozone Layer is a global issue and not just a problem over the South Pole ("Ozone Layer"). Research shows that ozone depletion occurs over North America, Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, and South America ("Ozone Layer"). The ozone...
Cited: Edelson, Edward. Clean Air. New York: Chelsea House Publishers. 22 Oct. 2003.
Fisher, Marshall John. The Ozone Layer. New York: Chelsea House, 1992.
Newton, David E. The Ozone Dilemma. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO, Inc. 22 Oct. 2003.
"Ozone Depletion." 19 Nov. 2003. www.science.org.
"Ozone Layer." U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. 16 Oct. 2003.
"Ozone Loss Declining." Chemical Marketing Reporter. Oct. 2003. EBSCOhost. 22 Oct.
"Ozone Quotes." www.uneptie.org. 25 Oct. 2003.
"The Chemistry of the Ozone Layer." 16 Oct. 2003.
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