Ozone Layer Facts

Ozone Layer Facts
The ozone layer is one of the layers in the earth's atmosphere, contained mostly within in the stratosphere's layer, at a distance of between 15 and 30 km from the surface of the earth. Ozone is a molecule, with a strong smell and it is blue in color. In 10 million air molecules, only 3 are ozone, making it much less common than other molecules such as oxygen, which make up about 2 million of every 10 million air molecules. Despite the relatively small percentage of ozone molecules in the earth's atmosphere, it is extremely important for life on earth. Ozone molecules absorb the UVB ultraviolet light that does so much damage on the planet. Ozone helps to protect people, animals, plants, and marine life from the sun's harmful rays.
Interesting Ozone Layer Facts:
The ozone layer was discovered by Charles Fabry and Henri Buisson, French physicists, in 1913.
The British meteorologist G.M.B. Dobson developed a spectrophotometer and established ozone monitoring stations around the world between 1928 and 1958. His work in this area led to the naming of the 'Dobson unit', which refers to a measure of ozone overhead.
The ozone layer is able to absorb up to 98% of the sun's ultraviolet light, and 90% of the ozone is located in the stratosphere layer of the atmosphere.
The UVB radiation that is screened out by the ozone layer can cause health issues when exposure is too high, which is why the ozone layer is vital to human and animal survival.
UVB radiation can cause immune system suppression, cataracts, genetic damage and even skin cancer.
Although high concentrations of UVB exposure can be dangerous, some is necessary for the production of vitamin D, which is also vital for human health.
The ozone layer has been damaged by substances known as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) which were used in a variety of products such as insulating foam, solvents, and refrigerants. The molecules in CFCs destroy ozone molecules at a rate of 1:100,000 which make them very dangerous to the ozone layer.
A slow but nevertheless important effort has been made worldwide to ban or limit the use of CFCs in an attempt to stop the destruction of the ozone layer.
If people stop producing ozone-destroying substances the ozone layer may be capable of recovering by 2050.
Some countries have banned the use of CFC aerosol sprays altogether, such as Canada, Norway, and the U.S. other applications of CFCs were still allowed however.
A hole in the ozone was discovered in the Antarctic in 1985. It is not an actual hole as many people believe, but it refers to a loss of 60% of the ozone that is usually present from September to November each year.
In other regions around the world the ozone layer has been depleted by approximately 20%.
The Montreal Protocol, enacted in 1989, was put in place to try to protect the ozone layer by phasing out, worldwide, substances that deplete the ozone layer. It has been making a difference and the ozone layer is expected to recover.

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