ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Things That Can Destroy the Ozone Layer

Updated on November 3, 2010

 We read about it in the newspapers. We see it on TV. We hear about the ozone layer and how it is being destroyed. But, by what, whom?

The ozone layer is a section of the Earth's atmosphere, between the trophosphere, the part  closest to the Earth, and the stratosphere, the area where large jets travel. The boundary of these two is called the ozone layer. Ozone is a molecule similar to oxygen except it contains three molecules, parts, of oxygen, instead of only two, and, at one time , was known as "heavy oxygen". The ozone has a bluish coloration and a strong odor, similar to that found near where lightening as struck the Earth, and it is unstable. Ozone's main purpose is to protect us from the ultraviolet radiation, UVB primarily, from the sun from reaching the Earth and reeking havoc. Without the ozone layer, there would be an increase in skin cancer, an increase in cataracts in people's eyes, and an increase in crop damage.

Unfortunately, man, in his movement to make life better, has produced substances that have damaged the ozone layer. In the 1940s and 1950s, man developed chloroflurocarbons. Chloroflurocarbons are substances found in refrigerants, such as freon, carbontetrachloride, an industral chemical, the aerosol propellants used in hairspray, air fresheners, and in  oven cleaners. Chloroflurocarbons are, also, found in the gases emitted from burning fossil fuels, like coal and oil, and in halons, which are used in fire extinguishing agents. When chloroflurocarbons were first made, it was not known that, due to their long half-life, they would be able, with the help of the wind, to reach the stratosphere and damage the ozone layer.

It has been found, the only way to cause the chloroflurocarbon molecule to break down is to expose it to strong ultraviolet (UV) radiation. But, there is a catch in this breakdown. During the process of breaking down the chloroflurocarbon into their atomic, or basic, parts atomic chlorine is produced, and, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), one atom of atomic chlorine has the ability to destroy approximately 100,000 molecules of ozone. Since 84 percent of the chlorine found in the stratosphere comes from chloroflurocarbons, the process of breaking down chloroflurocarbons causes the ozone layer to be destroyed, the EPA states.

In the early 1980s, there was an area over Antarctica, also known as the South Pole, that had a lower concentration of ozone than any other part of the atmosphere. But, according to the EPA, there are also areas of ozone depletion over North Ameerica, Europe, Asia, and Africa that can be as much as 5-10 percent lower than any other area of the atmosphere, depending on the season.

The EPA has been studying the depletion of the ozone layer for over 20 years. They have been instrumental in calling for the banning of chloroflurocarbons as aerosol propellants. In 1985, the Vienna Convention, along with the EPA recommendations, developed a formal international cooporation to decrease the use of chloroflurocarbons in an effort to decrease and stop further damage seen in the ozone layer. In 1987, the Montreal Protocol was signed by the countries of the world "to decrease the production of chloroflurocarbons by 1/2 by 1998", according to the EPA. By 1992, the Parties of the Protocol stated there was to be a complete stoppage of the production of halons by 1994 and the stoppage of chloroflurocarbon production by 1996. The EPA stated that, by their measurements, the highest levels of chlorine in the stratosphere were seen in the years 1997-1998, but with a continued decrease in the burning of fossil fuels, the ozone depletion can be healed by the natural production of ozone, by about 2048.

So, with the decreasing use of fossil fuels and the increased use of other forms of energy, like wind power and electricity, the ozone layer will continue to increase back to normal and again, be able to protect us from the damaging rays from the sun, as it has done for millions and millions of years.  

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      Chuck Norris 

      3 years ago

      Chuck Norris approved.

    • profile image

      Viviana 

      3 years ago

      Very nice

    • profile image

      sellcheyenne 

      5 years ago

      boring

    • profile image

      saakhi 

      6 years ago

      very nice

    • profile image

      nyasha 

      6 years ago

      boring

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)