The ozone layer is the most important part of our atmosphere. Ozone is a molecule which has three oxygen atoms, found in the gaseous state. The ozone layer is present as the outermost layer of our atmosphere, specifically extended throughout the stratosphere.
Why Is Ozone Layer So Important For The Survival Of Life On Earth?
The ozone layer of the stratosphere is a shield against solar radiation. When the sunlight reaches earth, their first interaction is with the ozone layer. When the solar radiation passes through the ozone molecules, they send back a part of the radiation back into space.
Thus, it acts as a shield to our earth and protects the earth from solar radiations. Thus, the amount of ultraviolet radiations reaching the earth’s surface is minimised.
What Is The Ozone Layer Hole?
The Ozone layer is deteriorating slowly and a hole is created in the ozone layer due to the pollution caused by us. The hole is located at the North Pole and the South Pole. It becomes especially large during spring and it results in longer summer seasons.
Due to the hole in the ozone layer, the ultraviolet radiations reach the earth surface. This causes the ice at the Polar Regions in the Artic Ocean and Antarctica to melt at a faster pace and cause global warming.
Why Is The Ozone Layer Hole Dangerous?
The Ozone hole is caused by some of the natural fluctuations in ozone but it is enlarged mainly due to human activities which degrade the ozone molecules.
The CFC chemicals ( Chloro-fluoro carbons) contain chlorine and bromine atoms. When the atoms drift up in the atmosphere with other gases, chlorine releasing reactions are caused.
The chlorine atoms react with ozone molecules and destroy them. Just one CFC particle can destroy millions of ozone molecules. So, in order to protect our ozone layer, we have to stop or minimise the use of activities which emit CFC in the atmosphere.
It is to be understood that the ozone hole is dangerous as more ultraviolet radiations from the sun will reach the earth. They cause global warming, skin diseases and they are fatal to all the life forms. They are a health and environmental threat.
Ways To protect Our Ozone Layer
Minimum Use Of Domestic Air conditioners
CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons), mainly CFC-11, CFC-12 and HCFC-22 are used as a refrigerant in refrigerators and domestic air-conditions. In order to reduce their emission, alternative non-HCFC refrigerants should be used.
You can also minimise the use of air-conditioners in your homes and instead natural methods to combat with the cooling needs of your home. You should always buy that refrigeration equipment for your home that uses a NON-HCFC refrigerant.
You should also conduct regular inspection of your air-conditioners and refrigeration to ensure there is no leakage of CFCs into the atmosphere.
Minimum Use Of Cleaning Agents
Another major source of CFCs is cleaning agents used in the textile industry. It is also used in the household cleaning products, aerosol sprays and hair mousses.
Thus, it is recommended to use non-toxic products like vinegar and sodium bicarbonate to use as cleaning agents. You should minimise the use of aerosol sprays and use natural essential oils instead.