By: Jessica Dolan
What is ozone depletion?
Ozone depletion is when the ozone in our air is destroyed. Ozone depletion causes holes in our ozone layer. Ozone is mainly created in tropical areas. The only reason other areas of the Earth are covered in ozone are air circulation patterns that move ozone towards the poles. Little ozone reaches the poles.
What causes ozone depletion?
80% of ozone depletion is caused by chlorofluorocarbons (CFC's). CFC's come from refrigerators, foams, and aerosols. They leak out of these products and make their way into the stratosphere. During the winter, the ozone is protected by the polar vortex. The polar vortex cools the air drastically and causes clouds to form. These clouds hold CFC's until the summer sun comes out. Then the clouds disappear, and the CFC's destroy most of the ozone that made it to the poles.
How do CFC's destroy ozone?
Ultraviolet rays from the sun take a chlorine molecule out of the CFC. Then that chlorine molecule takes one oxygen atom out of the ozone, turning the ozone into oxygen. The chlorine molecule is hypochlorite now. The oxygen atom leaves the hypochlorite and joins another oxygen atom. Now we have less ozone, more oxygen, and an equal amount of chlorine. The chlorine molecule can repeat this process about 100,000 times.
How does ozone depletion impact our environment?
Ozone depletion destroys plants developmental processes and their ability to preform photosynthesis. Less cash crops can be harvested. Ozone has been found to damage the development of most animals as well. It also can destroy animals ability to reproduce.
How does ozone depletion impact humans?
Ozone depletion causes damage to our eyes, immune systems, and skin. It increases the number of people who suffer from eye disease, such as cataracts, and blindness. More people are getting cancers, especially skin cancer.
What is Ozone Layer? | Mocomi Kids
How can we prevent ozone depletion?
The easiest way to prevent ozone depletion is to avoid CFC's. Try to use environment friendly cleaning products, dispose of household appliances, such as refrigerators, properly, and avoid using pesticides and aerosols. You should use fire extinguishers that don't contain CFC's. If we stop adding CFC's to our air, soon there won't be any left and ozone will come back.