Is the Coronavirus Crisis Increasing America's Drug Overdoses? Scientists believe that the formation of the ozone layer played an important role in the development of life on Earth by screening out lethal levels of UVB radiation (ultraviolet radiation with wavelengths between 315 and 280 nanometres) and thus facilitating the migration of life-forms from the oceans to land. It is mainly lie in the lower portion of the stratosphere from about 20 to 30 kilometers above the earth. Like a sponge, the ozone layer absorbs bits of radiation hitting Earth from the sun. Plants cannot live and grow in heavy ultraviolet radiation, nor can the plankton that serve as food for most of … xmlns:xsl='http://www.w3.org/1999/XSL/Transform'">. When ultraviolet radiation strikes this layer of air, it interacts with the ozone and is chemically decomposed. Credit: NASA, Image above: The atmospheric profile shows the different height of each of the atmospheric layers. Reduced ozone levels as a result of ozone depletionozone depletionA chemical destruction of the stratospheric ozone layer beyond natural reactions. The ozone layer is important because it filters harmful ultraviolet radiation as it travels from the sun to the surface of the Earth. ), The Secret Science of Solving Crossword Puzzles, Racist Phrases to Remove From Your Mental Lexicon. Festival of Sacrifice: The Past and Present of the Islamic Holiday of Eid al-Adha. Credit: TWR, Follow this link to skip to the main content. (Think of a very bad sunburn, only much worse!) Credit: NASA, Image above: Ozone destruction begins when chlorine and oxygen combine. After observation of a depletion of the ozone layer from the addition of chlorofluorocarbons and other man-made chemicals, the Montreal Protocol was enacted on Jan. 1, 1989 as an attempt to eradicate these chemicals from the atmosphere. Ozone Is Beneficial. This radiation is responsible for skin cancer and stunting of plant growth. With a weakening of this shield, we would be more susceptible to … These ultraviolet rays can harm both plant and animal life. Once chlorofluorocarbons are released into the atmosphere, winds buffet them upward where they interact with ozone, destroying the ozone molecules. Credit: NASA, Image to right: The Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer Earth Probe spacecraft (TOMS EP) measures the amount of ultraviolet radiation getting through the atmosphere. Without the layer of ozone in the atmosphere, it would be very difficult for anything to survive on the surface. NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Various ozone-depleting substances (ODS), however, accelerate the destruction processes, resulting in lower than normal ozone levels. Credit: NASA, Image above: Ozone is formed when an oxygen molecule is split by an ultraviolet ray and then combined with an oxygen atom. Will 5G Impact Our Cell Phone Plans (or Our Health?! Even with the ozone filter, some ultraviolet radiation reaches the Earth. Ozone layer is an outer layer in the atmosphere that is responsible in filtering out the harmful ultraviolet rays coming from the sun. In addition to chlorofluorocarbons, pesticides containing methyl bromide, halons used in fire extinguishers and methyl chloroform found in industry solvents are known to destroy ozone. In the 1980s, inquiry into the cause of the depletion of the ozone layer led to investigation of chlorofluorocarbons, which are chemicals used in refrigerants, insulating foams and solvents. Ozone is a gas in the atmosphere that protects everything living on the Earth from harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays from the Sun. You probably don't realize that every time you step outside, ozone, a gaseous …