English_Master March 10, 2016 No Comments
OZONE LAYER DEPLETION The Earth’s atmosphere is made up of different layers. The layer closest to the surface is called the troposphere which extends from the Earth’s surface up to about 10 km. The ozone layer is located above the troposphere in the stratosphere (10 km to about 50 km high). Stratospheric ozone is Earth’s natural protection for all life forms, shielding our planet from harmful ultraviolet-B (UV-B) radiation. UV-B radiation is harmful to humans, animals, and plant life. The ozone layer is being destroyed by certain industrial chemicals including ozone depleting refrigerants, halons, and methyl bromide, a deadly pesticide used on crops. Ozone depletion damage gets much worse, when the stratosphere is very cold. This has been the case the past two years, causing extensive ozone depletion. This past winter, ozone depletion reached the most severe levels ever recorded over the Northern Hemisphere. Western United States ozone levels also continue to drop 3-4 % per decade. Even, if all of our efforts to stop harmful emissions are successful, the ozone layer is not expected to begin recovery until around 2020 at the earliest. Ozone depletion occurs in many places in the Earth’s ozone layer, most severely in the Polar Regions. NOAA scientists have travelled to Antarctica to study...
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