What is the ozone layer?


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The ozone layer is a region of the Earth's atmosphere where ozone gas, an inorganic molecule with the chemical formula O3, is found in comparatively high amounts. Ozone is a colourless gas with a strong (chlorine-like) odour. Despite its elevated concentration, this layer's concentration is still low in contrast to other gases in the stratosphere.
The Ozone layer blocks the majority of the sun's ultraviolet radiation that reaches the earth. The ozone layer is heavier over the poles than it is over the equator.




Ozone is formed in the atmosphere when the sun's rays cut oxygen molecules into single atoms. These single atoms interact with oxygen nearby to form Ozone, a three-oxygen molecule.
Who was the first to find the ozone layer?
In 1913, French scientists Charles Fabry and Henri Buisson discovered the ozone layer.



What is the significance of the ozone layer?



Ozone protects the Earth from the Sun's toxic ultraviolet (UV) rays. Living on Earth would be very difficult without the ozone layer in the atmosphere. Plants, as well as the planktons that feed the majority of aquatic life, are unable to survive and thrive under high levels of ultraviolet radiation. Humans would be more vulnerable if the Ozone Layer barrier was weakened.



Disruption of the atmosphere's ozone layer


Human activities have been destroying the ozone equilibrium since the 1970s, according to scientists. The use of chlorine-containing chemicals like chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) has contributed to the ozone layer's degradation.


What does it mean when the ozone layer is depleted?


Human actions emit chemicals including chlorine and bromine atoms into the environment. These compounds, when combined with certain environmental conditions, undergo reactions in the Ozone Layer, resulting in the destruction of ozone molecules. The ozone layer is depleted all over the world, but the extreme loss of the ozone layer over the Antarctic is known as the 'Ozone Hole.'

The Montreal Protocol is a multilateral environmental arrangement that governs ozone-depleting material development and use (ODS). On September 15, 1987, it was approved. On the 15th of October 2016 in Kigali, Rwanda, the Parties to the Montreal Protocol reached an agreement to phase down hydrofluorocarbons at their 28th Meeting of the Parties (HFCs). Countries decided to add HFCs to the list of controlled drugs and set a timetable for reducing them by 80-85% by the late 2040s.




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