COMPOSITION OF THE OZONE LAYER
The ozone layer was discovered in 1913 by the French physicists Charles Fabry and Henri Buisson. The ozone layer has the capability to absorb almost 97-99% of the harmful ultraviolet radiations that sun emit and which can produce long term devastating effects on humans beings as well as plants and animals.
The ozone layer protects life on earth from strong ultraviolet radiation that comes from the sun. Ultraviolet rays are harmful rays that can drive up the risk of deadly disorders like skin cancer, cataracts and damage the immune system. Ultraviolet rays are also capable of destroying single cell organism, terrestrial plant life, and aquatic ecosystems.
Composition of the Ozone Layer
It comes as a surprise that the same Ultra-Violet rays form the bulk of ozone layer. Ozone is an extraordinary kind of oxygen composed of 3 oxygen atoms instead of the normal 2 oxygen atoms. Ozone layer normally develops when a few kinds of electrical discharge or radiation splits the 2 atoms in an oxygen(O2) molecule, which then independently reunite with other types of molecules to form ozone. The ozone layer has been shielding life on planet earth for billions of years, but it’s now being worn out by human activities.
People began to value the importance of the ozone layer when scientists released a research finding suggesting that certain human-made chemicals known as chlorofluorocarbons managed to reach the stratosphere and depleted the ozone via a profound series of chemical reactions. The results of this research study prompted the signing of a global treaty known as the Montreal Protocol in 1973. This treaty helped in the reduction of the production of these harmful human-made chemicals.
These targeted efforts have seen the ozone layer recovering over the past years. The thickness of the ozone layer varies immensely on any day and location. Due to relentless vertical atmospheric air circulation in both the stratosphere and troposphere, the amount of ozone layer shielding humans from strong UV rays can be lesser or greater. In addition, those residing in higher elevations are at risk of UV radiation than those at lower elevations.
The Stratospheric ozone plays a big role in protecting humans from the harshness of the sun. However, there is also a kind of ozone developed just above the ground as a result of sun rays coming into contact with pollution in the atmosphere, which is hazardous to human health. In some individuals, it can lead to complications in breathing and often takes place during summer when pollution is rampant in cities where the air is static.