Hey, do you know what the ozone is? Also, where is it found?
Ozone is a gas created in the atmosphere sun's rays split oxygen molecules into single atoms. Ozone is naturally produced in the stratosphere by a two-step reactive process. In the first step, sunlight breaks apart an oxygen molecule to form two separate oxygen atoms.
Can it harm humans? Better yet, can it protect humans?
Yes, ozone can be harmful to your health. When inhaled, the ozone can damage your lungs. Low amounts of ozone can cause chest pain, coughing, shortness of breath and throat irritation. Although, the ozone layer plays an important part in protecting human health. Without it, the sunlight would kill all living organisms on earth. You can help protect the ozone yourself by reducing the amount of driving you do, buying local produce, maintaining an air conditioner and not littering.
Will it harm other forms of life? When did it become a problem? How was it discovered?
Ozone depletion is largely related to marine life, like myself. Phytoplankton are the most vulnerable to the UV rays. Once one species of marine life dies from the ozone layer, it creates a domino effect on the rest of the food chain. As for plants, the UV rays can easily destroy farmers crops. It could reduce the ability for plants to photosynthesize, causing them to burn on regular care from humans. It often leads farmers to use harmful chemicals to sustain them. The ozone did not become a problem until the 80's. Although, in the 70's, there were worries about a hole forming in the ozone layer. It was not proved until the mid 80's that there was in fact, a hole forming in the ozone layer. All thanks to scientists who decided to do extensive study and research on the problem.
These harmful materials clearly put holes in the ozone. But, what are they?
The fossil fuels burn greenhouse gases into the atmosphere which absorb the radiation. The engines from cars burn gas and oil which then escape the atmosphere. Chemicals in spray cans are absorbed into the atmosphere and react with oxygen, causing destruction in the ozone layer. Deforestation would cause carbon monoxide to enter the atmosphere and also play a role in destroying the ozone.
Why is the ozone hole over Antarctica? What would the world look like without the ozone layer?
The hole holds it's base there due to the special atmosphere and chemical conditions that exist there. Without the ozone layer, life wouldn't be able to exist. Ever living organism would go extinct eventually. Humans would have a higher risk of getting skin cancer, sunburn and cataracts. Along with that, it would harm all plants and animals due to the excessive amount of UV rays.
In many countries, leaders have come together to sign a landmark environmental treaty to put strict regulations on the substances and materials that deplete the ozone layer. Although it is going to take many more years to return to it's full form, what has been done so far is helping to recover the hole at a slow pace. Humans can help by minimizing the use of cars, avoiding the use of dangerous gases in the atmosphere, buying local products, buying air conditioners and taking caring of them properly, and avoiding the use of harmful chemicals on the environment or for the benefit of your homes. Please try to help.
What has humans done to save the ozone layer? Is it helping? How can we all help the ozone?