Ozone Layer: Its Importance and causes of Depletion

The Lifeline for Life on Earth


Ozone layer:

The ozone layer is a layer of ozone gas (O3) in the stratosphere of the Earth’s atmosphere that lies around 10 to 30 miles (16 to 48 kilometers) over the surface of the Earth. Ozone (O3) resembles general gaseous oxygen (O3) with an additional oxygen molecule appended to it. It is made when short-wavelength bright radiation collaborates with O2 particles. The energy from the radiation splits the atoms, which at that point recombine into ozone.

The ozone layer is vital for life on Earth as it shields life from dangerous UV radiation. Though ozone layer does not absorb all the harmful UV, yet it averts around 80 percent of it from reaching earth.

Who discovered the ozone layer?

In 1913, French physicists Henri Buisson and Charles Fabry guessed that an ozone layer existed in the upper climate. It was affirmed in a progression of series of UV radiation levels that were recorded by W.N. Hartley and A. Cornu.

Fabry along with fellow French physicist Albert Pérot invented interferometer (a device measuring how light waves interact with each other), which he utilized to measure the Doppler effect on light in the laboratory. In his experiment in 1913, he utilized it to discover that UV radiation is consumed by the ozone layer.

Harmful effects of Ozone layer:

Ozone is awesome when it is high up in the climate and doing its job of shielding us from radiation, however when it is down close to ground level, it is poisonous to the individuals who inhale it. Ozone can have adverse affect on the general health of individuals and it can also damage crops.

Negative effects of UV radiation?

Little amount of (UV) radiation can really be beneficial for you since it helps in the creation of Vitamin D in the body. Be that as it may, you just need around 10 to 15 minutes of daylight daily to get this advantage (not getting enough daylight prompts Vitamin D depletion).

In addition to posing great risk of cancer—particularly melanoma—overexposure to UV radiation can cause cataract or inflammation of the cornea. High UV levels likewise, affects plants and animals, however some are at a higher hazard than others. Researchers have learned, for instance, that soy bean yields and a few sorts of rice could die if the UV intensity is increased.

Hole in the Ozone Layer:

Ozone layer is not evenly distributed around earth. Like atmosphere, it is thicker in the equator and gets thinner as one move towards North or South of the equator. This is also due to the fact that ozone layer depends upon the interaction of sunlight and oxygen; there is less ozone in the poles than at the equator. However, scientists have estimated that 33% of ozone layer has diminished in the last 50 years or so. Apart from natural reasons, it is now well established that chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), which are utilized in air conditioning, aerosol sprays, and halon in fire extinguishers, alongside methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (NO2), are separated by UV radiation, liberating carbon, chlorine, and nitrogen particles into the atmosphere that at that point respond with ozone atoms and break them. CFCs are especially awful in light of the fact that they last so long in the climate. One CFC particle can obliterate 100,000 atoms of ozone.

How the Ozone hole was discovered:

Though ozone layer was first accurately measured in 1920s by Gordon MB Dobson, it wasn’t until the 1979 that the depletion of ozone was observed at the South Pole by Nimbus 7 satellite. These days “Dobson spectrophotometers” have been set up around the world to monitor changes in the ozone.

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