Facts about the Ozone Layer

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Everything on Earth is tied together, interdependent on each other. So much of what we find on and above Earth we need for survival. We need fresh water to drink and clean oxygen to breath. And we need sunlight ‘“ but not too much and not directly. To filter the sun’s harmful rays and let us enjoy our summer days, the ozone layer exists. Here are some interesting facts about our ozone layer.

Fact 1: The ozone layer is 20 kilometers thick and is made of ozone gases. It resides in the upper atmosphere, known as the stratosphere.

Fact 2: The ozone layer’s role is to filter out harmful ultraviolet radiation, which is harmful to humans and animals on Earth. Exposure to UV rays can cause cataracts, skin cancer, and a weakened immune system.

Fact 3: Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), which were used to keep things cold and to manufacture products like aerosol sprays, foams and packing materials, and solvents, has caused damage to the ozone layer. When CFCs reach the stratosphere, they break down, releasing chlorine and destroying ozone atoms.

Fact 4: One Chlorine molecule can destroy up to 100,000 ozone atoms.

Fact 5: Other chemicals that destroy the ozone layer are methyl bromide pesticides and halons used in fire extinguishers.

Fact 6: In 1985, scientists discovered a thinning of the ozone layer over Antarctica. This ‘œhole’ appears over Antarctica every spring.

Fact 7: The ozone has the ability to heal itself if harmful ozone destroying chemicals are no longer used.

Fact 8: CFCs are banned worldwide.

Fact 9: If the ozone layer continues to deplete, temperatures on Earth will rise.

Fact 10: Chlorine from swimming pools does not harm the ozone because it does not reach the stratosphere. Neither do volcanic eruptions.

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