According to the Environmental Protection Agency, ozone depletion is mostly due to the corrosive actions of certain chemical compounds, such as refrigerants. Halting ozone depletion hinges on banning the use of these substances or preventing their release into the atmosphere. Because many of these compounds are extremely long-lived, molecules that escape into the atmosphere can cause ozone damage for decades.Know More
Ozone molecules consist of three oxygen molecules, and are an important protective part of Earth's atmosphere. Certain catalysts, such as hydroxyls, nitric oxide, chlorine and bromine atoms, have the ability to break the bonds of ozone molecules, effectively destroying them by converting the oxygen into other compounds. Compounds called chlorofluorocarbons, or CFCs, contain many of these catalysts, and are particularly dangerous to the ozone layer. The Montreal Protocol banned their use in 1989, although they are not the only source of potentially ozone-destroying compounds.
As of 2014, any chemical that contains catalysts that could be dangerous to ozone is heavily regulated. Many of these substances are vital for manufacturing and chemical engineering, and are used in tightly-controlled conditions to prevent their escape into the atmosphere. The reduction in ozone-depleting chemicals is expected to allow the ozone layer to recover to pre-1980 levels by the year 2075.Learn more about Environmental Science
Ozone depletion refers to the decline of ozone gas in the Earth's atmosphere. This decline of ozone gas means large amounts of ultraviolet B radiation reaches the Earth's surface.Full Answer >
The Environmental Protection Agency explains that the ozone layer of the atmosphere, Earth's protective layer, is being damaged by human activities, particularly the production of greenhouse gases. These gases are known to erode the surface of the ozone layer, meaning that its protective properties are consistently being diminished over time.Full Answer >
Without the ozone layer, the sun's ultraviolet radiation would negatively affect life on land and in the water, leading to mass extinction. The ozone layer is a protective area of the Earth's stratosphere that absorbs between 97 and 99 percent of the sun's UV radiation, allowing life to exist.Full Answer >
The gaping hole in the ozone layer of the atmosphere over the Antarctic was caused primarily by high concentrations of ozone-depleting chemicals called CFCs. The vast hole in the ozone was discovered by scientists in the 1980s, who upon discovering the dramatic loss in ozone cover, set to work determining a primary cause. They found excessive concentrations of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) in the area of concern; CFCs were frequently used as additives in spray cans and refrigerants, but are now banned in most areas of the world.Full Answer >