- The most important role of our ozone layer is that it protects us against dangerous UV radiation coming mostly from the Sun.
- The ozone layer is depleted because of chlorofluorocarbons, which destroy the O3 molecules of ozone.
- Some predictions say that by 2040 if we insist on eliminating CFC emission in the atmosphere, the atmosphere could look like it did in 1980.
The ozone layer can be found in one segment of Earth’s atmosphere, known as the stratosphere. The stratosphere extends up to 50 km above the surface of our planet, and the ozone layer is one of the key elements that protects from everything coming from outer space that could harm not only humans but also all the other life forms we share this planet with.
Now, probably the most critical thing the ozone layer protects us from is the ultraviolet radiation coming from the Sun. This hot ball that emits heat and light is more than 150 million kilometers away from Earth. Still, the amount of energy it releases is tough to handle, to say the least.
There are numerous reasons why there is no life on planets we observed so far, but the deprivation of oxygen, and therefore the inability to create the ozone layer are on top of the list. Bear in mind, the ozone layer can be depleted and has been suffering from the things we do on Earth for a long time now.
Although we were more than happy to hear the news of how the biggest hole above our south pole, the Antarctic has closed, the damage we are doing to the ozone layer has been and will be a problem for us, and our kids. If the ozone layer is not protecting us from UV radiation, we are more likely to suffer from skin cancer and many other problems that will occur for our genetics and our immune system. So, what wrongdoings are depleting the ozone layer?
The fact that we have farms that are raising animals that we will eat later has a massive effect on our atmosphere and the depletion of the ozone layer. Mass production of livestock and the manure decomposition that goes along with this practice emits more amounts of the greenhouse gas than all the cars, planes, and trains emit together. When manure is decomposed, a compound known as nitrous oxide is released, and around 65% of all nitrous oxide that goes into our atmosphere comes from manure decomposition.
Vehicles Running On Fossil Fuels
Other than the ever-increasing danger of skin cancer, our atmosphere is getting warmer and warmer because there is simply too much carbon dioxide that we release into the atmosphere. The majority of different vehicles we have today use either diesel fuel or gasoline. When these fuels burn, they release harmful byproducts, with carbon dioxide being the most prominent one.
All spray cans that you use almost every day are under pressure. When you want to release some of the liquid that is contained inside, they are accompanied by CFC and halons. Chlorofluorocarbons are released into the atmosphere this way. When they go up in the air, as they are lighter than oxygen, they reach the ozone layer. That is when that harmful UV radiation disintegrates these compounds into smaller substances, and chlorine is one of them. Just one atom of chlorine can destroy 100,000 molecules of ozone.
Leaking (Old) Refrigerator Units
The problem with refrigerators can be explained similarly as the problem that happens when we release gas out of a spray can. The compressor inside the fridge is an essential part that makes the temperature inside the refrigerator drop and makes it possible to conserve our food.
However, most of the older refrigerators had a gas called freon inside their compressors. The release of freon into the atmosphere has a devastating effect on our atmosphere. Freon is also a CFC, and when the powerful UV light from the Sun dismantles it into chlorine, then that same chlorine continues to destroy the ozone layer.
Burning Chemically-Treated Wood
You might think, well, how could this be bad?
Well, anything that burns is technically a problem for our atmosphere: more so if the wood you use to keep yourself warm during winter has been treated with a compound known as methyl bromide. When we burn wood, methyl bromide is released up into the air and is even more toxic than CFCs.