Climate

The Ozone Hole, a Threat to Life

Ozone layer- protecting life from harmful ultraviolet radiation

The ozone hole is the place or area through which harmful ultra violate rays from the sun passes through. It is caused due to a decrease in some bulk of ozone. Destruction of the ozone layer is known as the ozone depletion. Ozone molecules are destroyed when atoms of bromine and chlorine meet the atom of ozone in the stratosphere.

How the ozone layer protects us from the harmful ultra violate rays?

The ozone layer protects us from the harmful UV rays by absorbing the maximum of it, before it reaches the surface of the earth. It can do so because it is situated at the topmost level of the earth’s blanket. The layer performs as a filter for comparatively short wavelength and highly dangerous UV rays, and thus protects life.

The reason why the hole in the ozone layer is harmful

Human beings are to be blamed for the depletion of the ozone layer, besides the cause of natural depletion. The hole, which is actually the destroyed part of the layer acts as an opening to the harmful rays of the sun. This will cause harm to any types of life on earth.

Thinning of the Ozone layer

The ozone layer is continuously becoming thin over places of a large population. It’s a warning from a new study. Scientists convey to people that the protective layer is in a better condition over areas of the low population like the extreme poles.

What actually is the ozone hole and how is it formed?

The formation of ozone is natural by the process of photolysis in the stratosphere. This is the process where very active solar radiation hits oxygen molecules and causes two of the oxygen atoms to break. Ozone is formed by the combination of a freed oxygen atom with the other two.

Causes of the Ozone hole

Ozone is caused by the harmful chlorofluorocarbons emitted by refrigerators, air conditioners, etc. The UV rays split the chlorine atoms. Actually, this ozone hole is not a hole, but a region where ozone is very much depleted.

Ozone is a gas which is present around the atmosphere to protect all the living beings on the planet. Without which it would have been impossible for living beings to survive. This is why ozone is useful.

Properties of ozone

  • The harmful UV rays are absorbed by the airspace spectrum within 220-290 nm.
  • Acts as a security blanket lying on the top or above the earth.
  • A bluish gas having a boiling point of -112 degrees Celsius.

The harm caused to living beings by the ultra violate radiation

  • Ultra violate ray causes early aging of the skin, and also sunburn and damage.
  • It causes skin cancer to human beings; almost 70% of human death is caused by cancer. And also eye problems like Cataracts and many more.
  • Ultra violate ray harm plants as well, as plants use sunlight for the process of photosynthesis and are not able to avoid the harmful Ultra violate B radiation. It damages DNA, proteins, membranes, etc.

How can we protect the ozone layer?

  • Avoid using gases harmful for this layer: some of the examples are a halogenated hydrocarbon, nitrous oxide, CFC’s, etc.
  • Reducing the use of vehicles like a car: The best way to move from one place to another is either walking or to cycle. If someone wants to use or avail a car then he should try to use a carpool to reduce pollution.
  • Avoid using products for cleaning that is harmful to us as well as the environment: nowadays most of the cleaning products contain chemicals harming the environment and human health. To prevent both of them, one must replace these with non-toxic and environmentally friendly compounds like vinegar.
  • Purchase of local products: In this process, people will get fresh products, which is harmless for the body. But if people concentrate on consuming packed food items or products which travel across a long distance, then it is going to harm both humans and the environment as it produces nitrous oxide.
  • Maintaining the use of air conditioners: As they emit CFC’s, the ozone layer gets affected, causing harm to mankind.

It can be said that the Ozone layer is like a blessing to us. It is because of the Ozone layer only that mankind and other living being is alive on Earth. Hence, we must put our hand together to prevent further degradation of the Ozone layer.

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ASHESH MAJI

Ashesh is a social worker, author and member of Nature Talkies.

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