Ozone Layer Depletion

What is the issue?

The issue is that the ozone layer is depleting, which means the ozone layer is thinning. The ozone layer protects the earth from the suns UV rays. If the ozone becomes depleted then more UV rays will reach the earth. If we are exposed to big amounts of UV radiation then it will impact humans, animals, and plants seriously.

What are the causes?

The causes of ozone layer depletion occurs when CFC's (chlorofluorocarbons) formerly found in aerosol spray cans and refrigerants are released into the atmosphere these gases cause the ozone molecules to break down, reducing ozone's ulraviolent (UV) radiation capacity.
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How is the issue impacted or how does it contribute to global warming?

Many greenhouse gases such as CFC's (chlorofluorocarbons) and HFC's (hydrofluorocarbons) are released which which traps heat in the atmosphere. When these greenhouse gases are released from aerosol sprays, refrigerants, old air conditioners and fridges, etc. When the release of greenhouse gases is too much, the greenhouse effect traps more heat, warming the planet up. This is bad because jut a few degrees celsius of warming can cause major problems such as wind and ocean currents, and precipitation pattern shifts, etc

What are the long term affects?

When the ozone layer depletes the ozone layer is allowing UV rays from the sun into earth's atmosphere, which is associated with a number of health related and environmental issues. Some health issues are: skin cancer, eye damage, immune system damage, difficulty breathing, chest pain, throat irritation, etc. The radiation of UV rays also affect the environment by causing changes in plant form and how nutrients are distributed within the plant. UVB radiation also causes damage to the development stages of fish, shrimp, crab, amphibians, and other marine animals. It decreases their reproductive capacity, which means they can't reproduce. It's important for them to reproduce because if their aren't enough primary consumers the secondary consumers will not have food to eat so they might die out.

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What can be done?

Some things that can be done to stop ozone layer depletion are, limit or reduce the amount of driving as vehicular emissions eventually result in smog, which is a culprit in the deterioration of the ozone layer. Also using eco-friendly and natural cleaning products for household chores is a way to prevent ozone depletion, because many of these cleaning products contain toxic chemicals that interfere with the ozone layer. Other things that can be done are avoid using pesticides.
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What is currently being done in Canada and/or around the world?

In Canada satellite balloons and ground-based instruments are used to measure ozone. This tells us how much ozone is in the atmosphere and if there is a little bit of ozone we need to start controlling the numbers and not releasing CFC's in the atmosphere. Canada has also signed the Montreal protocol in 1987 along with 23 other countries. This is an agreement to phase out their use of ozone depleting gases. Canada has reduced it's productions and import of the chemicals by 95%, so that the ozone doesn't deplete.