What is the Ozone layer?

What is the Ozone layer?


Have you ever wondered why do your parents ask you to apply sunscreen before stepping out into the sun? That’s because of the harmful radiations known as UV (Ultraviolet) rays emitting from the sun. Too much exposure to the Sun’s UV rays can increase the risk of skin cancer and can severely attack your immune system but these rays can even harm the single cell organisms, plants and aquatic animals.

Between the Sun’s harmful rays and the life on the Earth lies on the pale blue protective shield known as Ozone layer. What is ozone layer? For that we have to go up all way into the atmosphere, where some oxygen molecules that contain 2 atoms absorbed energy from the Sun’s UV rays and spilt to form a single oxygen atom. Then these single atom mixes with the remaining oxygen with 2 atoms to form a thin layer of oxygen gas with three atoms to form the ozone layer. This layer is about 3 to 5 millimeters in thickness and surround the Earth shielding and protecting the planet from harmful radiations coming from the Sun.

Everything was safe and fine from billions of years until in the 1970s, scientists discovered that this thin layer of gas is slowly depleting, and evidence revealed that certain man-made chemicals were responsible for this. Chemicals such as Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and nitrogen oxide coming out from a wide range of industrial and consumer appliances, mainly refrigerator, air conditioners, and fire extinguishers billowed towards the Ozone layer. And begin to destroy the oxygen molecules resulting in thinning of the ozone layer, which popularly known as the Ozone hole.

But fortunately, all is not last yet, as with increasing awareness about the harmful effect of CFC and other chemicals, the production and consumption of such substance have decreased to a significant level. And as a result, the Ozone layer is slowly getting healed and getting back to its original form. But as a responsible person, we should play our part to serve the ecosystem as well, so what can we do to help?

There isn’t much we can do about the CFCs that were released already, but there are some things we can do now, and the first thing to do is spreading awareness about its harmful effects amongst all our friends and family. The other essential thing we can do is if you have air conditioners or refrigerators more than 20 years old, make sure you replace with a new one and be sure to have the old one disposed off properly. And the easiest way to help our planet is by sharing this post fast… So hurry up and do it!

Did you know the word “Ozone” means smelly in Greek because the gas has a strong odor? Also CFC molecules are highly stable and can last up to 100 years. And unfortunately, this gives them plenty of time to find their way to the ozone layer. So, let’s do our best to stop them and the right time to do is now!

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