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?"

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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.

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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.

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What is being done?

In 1978, the use of CFC propellants in spray cans were banned in the U.S. In In 1987, the Montreal Protocol was signed and the signatory nations committed themselves to a reduction in the use of CFC's and other ozone-depleting substances. In my opinion, we have all taken a big step to stop further depletion in tho ozone layer, but we continue doing more. Not only CFC's, but other gasses can destroy the ozone layer, like carbon dioxide found in cars. We can all limit our usage of cars, and other harmful gasses."Climate change and ozone depletion are two global issues that are different but have many connections. In the ozone depletion case, we managed to work with decision makers effectively so that an international agreement called the Montreal Protocol was achieved that essentially solved the ozone depletion problem." ~Mario J. Molina
What is Ozone Layer? | Mocomi Kids