Ozone layer depletion is an important issue where people talk about topic every single day. What is ozone and also how does it get depleted due to human activities? Let us take a sneak peek into all we ought to know about it. To begin with, the ozone layer constitutes the stratosphere which is the upper layer of the Earth. It extends to some 15 to 30kms above the Earth. The primary role of this ozone layer is to protect Earth from the Sun’s effects ultra-violet radiation. What happens if Earth is exposed to these UV rays? UV rays are extremely effects and excessive exposure to these could prove extremely fatal on the health of humans and animals alike. Thus the importance of ozone layer lies in safeguarding Earth from this damaging exposure.
What damage could this exposure cause?
Exposure to UV rays causes irreversible damage like reduction is phytoplankton, algae. These are the food for many other living things. Researchers are observing that the depletion of ozone layer has already took a toll on the environment. Though the levels of global warming has drastic changes in the reproductive behavior and rates of marine life like crabs, shrimp and unique species of fishes. Again, deterioration of the ozone layer will also cause an increased rate of cataract in human beings, skin cancer and other irreversible impact on human life.
What is the actual reason behind the ozone layer depletion?
The major cause is due to the emission of chlorine and bromine into the atmosphere. Chlorofluorocarbons play a major role in damaging the ozone layer as they hugely hinder the quality of this layer. These gases are present in aerosol sprays, vehicular emissions, refrigerants, by-products of industrial procedures and so on. Though gases are stable in the lower atmosphere, they start reacting after they reach the stratosphere and begin to release chlorine atoms which react with ozone and start the depletion almost instantaneously.
Based on a study done by U.S Environmental Protection Agency, one atom of chlorine can destroy almost a hundred thousand ozone molecules. Such being the disastrous impact, scientists have been continuously on the lookout for alternatives to save the ozone layer from depleting further.
Scientists discovering that the area around Antarctica is completely affected. Due to the climatic conditions and the pollution over this region, nearly 65% of the ozone layer are damaged. In the other regions of the globe, its estimated that 20% of the ozone layer impacts adversely. Considering the drastic affect of pollution and usage of chlorofluorocarbons, these gases are completely banned across the globe. Countries use alternatives in refrigerants and aerosols to reduce this effect. However, its estimated that it would take another 50 years for the chlorine levels to come back to normal.
How can we save the ozone layer?
It is does not limit to a specific region or country. Depletion of the ozone layer is a universal issue. To solve the issue it is in the hands of all the people across the globe.
- Opting for natural manures to artificial fertilizers
- Curbing pollution
- Appropriate processing of industrial waste
- Avoiding plastics, papers and shifting to eco-friendly products
To summarize, these are few very basic ways in which we can limit the damage causing to the ozone layer. So high time we join our hands together for this global issue. This helps to do our best to restrict the damage happening to the world.