What Has Happened to The Ozone Layer?
What Has Happened to The Ozone Layer?

The ozone layer is currently recovering from its depletion by the activities of man. The ozone layer was attacked by chemicals released into the atmosphere. These chemicals are mostly chlorofluorocarbons that contain a high amount of chlorine. They were used as aerosol propellant and refrigerants until the international body discovered the damages they were causing to the atmosphere and banned their use.

Chemical Damage

The chemicals, when released into the atmosphere go straight to the stratosphere and form a dangerous cycle with the radiations from the sun. This combination is responsible for a breakdown of the ozone layer. Although the chemicals were caused the ozone layer to deplete, it is the chlorine content that reacts with the ozone layer and generates a high degree of damage.

It was until late 1970’s that climatic scientists discovered the damages that have been done to the ozone layer. As at that time, over 4% of the ozone layer was depleted globally. The destruction of the ozone layer puts the earth in a difficult situation because the ozone layer is responsible for protecting the planet from UV radiations that hit from the sun. During that period, the earth suffered an increase in skin cancer patients globally. If the situation were not adequately managed, it would lead to severe consequences that could wipe life from the face of the earth.

The problem compounded when the region of depleted ozone layer moved over to the stratosphere over the Antarctica. The ozone levels suffered so much depletion that leads to the formation of a hole. During that time, the hole increased exponentially every year, and this puts that region under severe risk. The government reported the extent of growth and the damages it was already causing to the cities exposed to intensive UV radiations. The whole continent was under the risk of being exposed to intense UV radiation.

Scientific Action

A lot of climatic scientists swung into action, and it didn’t take long for the problem to be identified. The scientists discovered that the catalytic reaction of chlorine-based chemicals with the ozone layer was responsible for the massive depletion of the layer. These chemicals were banned during in 1987 after the Montreal accord. From here the use of these chemicals gradually diminished with time.

The hole in the ozone is reducing each year as the layer recovers from the attack of chlorine-based chemicals. Although some of these chemicals are still present in the atmosphere, there are gradually cleaned off, and the full recovery of the ozone layer would finally happen around 2070. However, the ozone layer may never recover to its original state before the era of industrialization because of the endless activities of the industries in the world.

The solution to the full recovery of the ozone layer lies in the replacement of these chemicals with better alternatives that would not affect the atmosphere. There are yet to be replaced, and with time, it is possible for people to allow their use again, leading to the destruction of the earth.

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