Ozone Layer Depletion
Karina Hafeez|Dec. 6, 2015
What is the Ozone layer?
What is the ozone layer? The ozone layer is a thin (3-5mm) layer in Earth's stratosphere that blocks out harmful UV rays from the sun. I chose this topic because the ozone layer is thinning and many people are not aware of it. Researching this topic let me learn that the ozone layer is mostly effected by humans, and is not able to repair itself as quickly as we are destroying it. As I researched, I was brought to the question of "How can I create a flyer that will make people aware of the thinning ozone layer?"
What causes the depletion?
Chlorofluorocarbons (CFC's) are the biggest threat to the ozone-layer, resulting in 80% of the depletion. CFC's are most commonly found in aerosol cans, but the Montreal Protocol regulated the production of CFC's. CFC's are also found in foams, packing materials, solvents, and refrigerants. CFC's are made of atoms of carbon, chlorine, and fluorine. 1 atom of chlorine can destroy more than 100,000 molecules of ozone. These atoms can stay in the layer for 20 years or more.
Why do we need the ozone layer? Why are UV rays harmful?
We need the ozone layer because without it, life is not possible on Earth. Uv rays increase skin cancer. Every 1% deplete in the layer causes a 5% increase in skin cancer. UV rays also play a role in melanoma development, eye lense clouding, and DNA damage. For animals, the UV rays can reduce them in size, and also cause DNA damage. Aquatic animals can also be harmed, since UV travel underwater. Many shrimp, fish and crabs suffer from development change, creating mutations. Plant also die from drying out, and because the nutrients in a plant are disturbed, destroying the plant.