Why is the ozone layer so important

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Quite often we hear about the ozone layer and how important it is to our planet. It is a layer that is located in the stratosphere and is easily damaged by certain human activities. Yet could you say why is the ozone layer so important for life on Earth? If you want to know it and discover a series of habits that will help you protect it, keep reading Green Ecology and we will tell you about it.

What is the ozone layer and how important is it?

Ozone is a molecule that is made up of three oxygen atoms and is gaseous in the atmosphere. It is a molecule that is found in nature and that, on our planet, is especially concentrated in the so-called ozone layer, which is nothing more than a layer that is located in a part of our atmosphere, specifically in the stratosphere (between 15 and 50 kilometers high from the surface).

This ozone layer extends throughout the entire stratosphere and it is of fundamental importance for life on earth, since ozone molecules act as a shield from solar radiation. In other words, the radiation that reaches us through the sun's activity is minimized because, before reaching the biosphere that is located on the planet's surface, it passes through these ozone molecules, which makes a part of said radiation is returned to space. Consequently, the light and solar radiation that reaches the land and the oceans does not become dangerous for living beings.

What is the ozone hole

The hole in the ozone layer is, as its name suggests, a reduction in the amount of ozone in said layer and that allows large amounts of ultraviolet light to enter our planet. This hole in the ozone layer is located at the poles (on the Antarctic continent and the Arctic Ocean) and is especially large during the respective springs of both hemispheres. Later, during the summer, it seems to recover. Then the degradation process begins at the opposite pole and the process repeats itself more or less cyclically.

This hole responds to natural ozone fluctuations in the atmosphere by the electromagnetic field of the planet. But nevertheless, due to human activityIt is also true that certain types of gases that are emitted end up ascending to the stratosphere and degrading the ozone molecules. In other words, some gases produced by human activity destroy ozone molecules, which makes the ozone layer thinner and, consequently, the hole is larger.

This supposes a real environmental and health problemSince the excess of solar radiation is dangerous for any form of life and, in the case of animals, it can become the cause of diseases of a very varied type, ranging from skin burns to even cancer.

How to protect the ozone layer

Due to the importance of the ozone layer in protecting life on Earth, more and more governments and institutions are advocating for take steps to protect it. This protection has to come mainly from the elimination of those gases that destroy ozone. In this sense, the best way for ordinary citizens to protect the ozone layer is to avoid consuming products that contain, or that for their manufacture involve, the release of ozone-depleting gases into the atmosphere. Some of the most dangerous gases for the ozone layer are as follows:

CFC gases

CFCs stand for chlorofluorocarbons, and they are the most destructive gases that can be used to destroy the ozone layer. They were widely used in the case of products that were released in the form of an aerosol. Since the second half of the 20th century, its use has been banned or greatly reduced. However, to this day you can still find some products that include them, so it is always good to look on the product label that it is a “CFC-free” aerosol. In addition to aerosols, old appliances such as refrigerators and air conditioners also used them, so it is essential that, when disposing of this equipment, they are taken to a clean point so that they are managed properly. In the following article we will talk more in depth about CFC pollution.

Halogenated hydrocarbon

Also known simply as "halon". It is a product that can be found in some fire extinguishers. The best way to avoid this is that, when buying an extinguisher, we make sure that it does not include this gas.

Methyl bromide

It is a pesticide that is used in some wood plantations but, when released into the environment, destroys ozone in the atmosphere. The best way to avoid this is to make sure that the furniture we buy is not made with woods treated with this pesticide.

Nitrous oxide

It is a gas released by automobiles in the combustion of gasoline and, especially, diesel. The best way to avoid their production is to reduce the use of these means of transport to the minimum possible, either by opting for public transport, electric vehicle or bicycle. Likewise, we can also find nitrous oxide in the decomposition of farm manure, so reducing our consumption of food from animal origin also helps to avoid the deterioration of the ozone layer.

If you want to read more articles similar to Why is the ozone layer so important, we recommend that you enter our ozone layer category.

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