Ozone holes are ones of the main ecological problems on Earth during the last century. Here we will tell you about the causes and consequences of ozone holes and modern solutions to reduce them.
What is the Ozone Layer?
Ozone is both beneficial and harmful to people. Near the ground, ozone-forming as a result of chemical reactions involving traffic pollution and sunlight may cause a number of respiratory problems, particularly for young children. However, high up in the atmosphere in a region known as the stratosphere, ozone filters out incoming radiation from the Sun in the cell-damaging ultraviolet part of the spectrum. Without this ozone layer, life on Earth would not have evolved in the way it has.
Main Reasons of Ozone Holes Occurrence
The ozone hole is an area of reduced stratospheric ozone. Gases that contained Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), Halons and Freons cause the ozone holes. These gases can be found commonly in aerosol cans and released by many electronic appliances. So this stuff decreases the level of ozone in the stratosphere. All of these gases contain chlorine, which is a major cause behind the thinning of the ozone layer.
Impact of Ozone Holes
Thinning of the ozone layer means getting directly in touch with ultraviolet rays which can cause skin cancer or skin irritation which can lead to death. A decrease in 1% of the ozone layer can cause a 5% increase in cases of skin cancer.
Exposure to UV rays has also increased the cases of cataracts which in turn affects people’s vision and could also cause an increase in people becoming blind.
Depletion of the ozone layer and increase in UV rays can also cause DNA damage which can also be catastrophic.
Aquatic plants and animals are not even safe. UV rays can penetrate through water and can kill small plants and animals. If the ozone hole keeps on expanding, there would be very few plants which mean less food in the whole world.
Solutions of Ozone Holes Reducing
To reduce ozone holes and ozone depletion at all, people need to reduce the using of aerosols and some electronic appliances.
Thus, the Montreal Protocol, ratified in 1987, was the first of several comprehensive international agreements enacted to halt the production and use of ozone-depleting chemicals. As a result of continued international cooperation on this issue, the ozone layer is expected to recover over time.
Therefore, some time ago NASA scientists noticed the healing of the largest ozone hole over the Antarctic. It means that the Montreal Protocol really works.
“We see very clearly that chlorine from CFCs is going down in the ozone hole, and that less ozone depletion is occurring because of it,” – says Susan Strahan, an atmospheric scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, in Greenbelt, Maryland.
TAGGED WITH: climate change, NASA, ozone, ozone layer, ozone hole, Antarctic, pollution, environment, ecology, Earth, atmosphere.
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