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Biology Powerpoint Presentations Assignment Topic - Ozone Layer Depletion
Task - You have to make powerpoint presentation about it.
Answer - OZONE Layer DEPLETION - A threat to the environment
What is ozone layer?
Ozone (O3) is a triatomic form of oxygen which is largely found in the stratosphere (Tekale, More, Thakur, Jangid & Deshmukh, 2017). Being on of the most reactive form of molecular oxygen and a powerful oxidizing agent, its higher concentration can be irritating. The atmospheric ozone is present in the one of the layers of stratosphere about 15 to 30 kms from earth's surface (Langematz, 2019). The Ozone layer absorbs some part of the sun's radiations and allows it to not reach to the earth's surface. It absorbs the Ultraviolet rays that can potentially be harmful for human skin, eyes, crops and marine life. Within the last few decades, the depletion of ozone layer has been predicted by scientists. However, the even if the natural reductions are recovered, it can be difficult to reverse the damage done to the ozone shield.
OZONE LAYER DEPLETION
When chlorine and bromine come in contact with the ozone layer of stratosphere, the ozone molecules gets destroyed. These are known as ozone depleting substances (Hossaini, et. al. 2017)
Even when the substances like chlorofluorocarbons, hydrochlorofluorocarbons, methyl chloroform are emitted from earth's surfaces, they remain in the stratosphere for at least 2 to 5 years
Generally, the creation of ozone is difficult as it gets destroyed at a faster rate
The ozone layer is getting depleted with each passing day and majorly due to man-made activities
The global production of CFCs and chemicals released from refrigeration, foam insulation and use of heating elements can have direct impact on the ozone layer (Montzka, et. al., 2018).
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History of ozone depletion
Dutch chemist Paul Crutzen published a paper in 1969 that analyzed the impact of combining of nitrogen oxides with oxygen atoms. He identified that the ozone layer is getting significantly impacted (Langematz, 2019).
By the year 1974, researchers like Mario Molina and F. Sherwood Rowland of the University of California recognized that humans have significantly impacted the depletion of the ozone layer.
The use of bromine and chlorine compounds were found to be destroying the layers of ozone.
By the 1980s, large annual decrease in ozone creation was identified from the satellite images and ground-based sensors.
The satellite images and ground-based sensors suggested that the ozone creation per square meter in sampled columns of air was decreasing and could impact the earth's surface soon (Zinner, et. al., 2016).
The poles were majorly hit by the ozone depletion; however, the impact was less in the tropical regions.
Today, the depletion of ozone layer has increased the amount of UV radiation that can potentially impact the earth's surface.
The rising levels of bromine and chlorine in the stratosphere includes halocarbons such as propellants, air conditioners, refrigerators, plastic foam and solvents for cleaning and drying.
Ozone DEPLETION and climate change
Ozone Depletion and climate change are interrelated, but climate change is not alone caused by the depletion of ozone layer.
The impact of atmospheric ozone can be seen on the temperature of the Earth.
The atmospheric ozone absorbs the harmful UV rays and also absorbs the human-produced toxic gases that impacts the lower stratosphere (Godin-Beekmann, 2016).
This also contributes to greenhouse effect as the surface pollution gases causes a warming effect on the earth's surface.
Carbon dioxide contributes majorly to ozone depletion alongside chlorofluorocarbons and other greenhouse gases.
Ozone is also impacted by changes in the meteorological conditions and changes in the atmosphere.
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IMPACT OF OZONE LAYER DEPLETION
Ozone layer depletion has major impact on human health as it emits ultraviolet rays causing non-Melanoma skin cancer and malignant Melanoma development (Datta & Tiwari, 2016).
It also impacts human eyes by clouding the eye lenses and developing cataracts.
The Marine ecosystems are hugely impacted as phytoplankton productivity is less (Ruby & Ahilan, 2018).
The effect on plants is also adverse as they are directly affected by UVB radiation.
The current situation of ozone depletion
Presently, as recorded by NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the ozone layer fluctuates throughout the year.
It has been noted that the Ozone Layer is shrinking in size which roughly sits over Antarctica.
Currently, the size is smallest as last recorded in September 8, 2019.
It has shrunk to less than 3.9 million square miles in the southern hemisphere.
It is a rare event that the Ozone hole has shrunk even after the weather conditions in September and October.
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