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Global Warming Essay

1043 words - 4 pages

Chemistry 121 April 26, 2001 r What is the Ozone Hole and What Are Its Causes? Abstract: Ozone depletion is one of many environmental problems burdening society today. I will describe to you the chemistry involved in making ozone and how ozone depletion occurs. I will tell you why I decided to conduct research on this issue. I will tell the methods of research I used to gather information on ozone depletion. I will state my position on the debate of the ozone hole and propose an experiment to bring society one step closer to an ending of the issue.Introduction: Ozone is a compound composed of three oxygen atoms (O3). CFCs (Chlorofluorocarbons), are harmful compounds that are released into the air mainly by industrial factories. When the CFCs reach the stratosphere, UV rays produced by the sun strike the compound causing the chlorine atom to break away from the compound (2) . The free chlorine atom will then search for an ozone molecule and collide with it(2). The chlorine atom will steal an oxygen atom from the ozone molecule, thus destroying the ozone molecule(2). Two new compounds are formed, Chlorine-Oxide (ClO) and Oxygen (O2). The newly formed chlorine-oxygen compound will eventually make a collision with a free oxygen atom [Cl + O3 ® ClO + O2]. (O2) will form and the chlorine atom is now free to attack other ozone molecules and repeat the ozone depletion process(2).Rationale: I decided to research the ozone hole because it was the most influential topic out of three in my life. The car I drive does not have an air bag so there is no direct influence on my life from it. Global warming is an important issue, but the process is so long that by the time the temperature of earth reaches an alarming rate I will already be deceased. The hole in the ozone hole is a gigantic problem to society today. Antarctica and parts of Australia already have dangerously low levels of ozone in a matter of twenty years. At this rate the hole could inevitably cover all of earth by the end of twenty-first century.Methods: I used the world wide web to gather information on the history of ozone depletion. I used a handbook given to me from my professor to gather information on the chemistry on the matter.Results: The chemistry involving the ozone hole is vast and precise. Ozone is produced when ultraviolet rays from the sun strike an oxygen molecule, causing the molecule to split into two oxygen atoms(3). The free oxygen atoms look for and then collide with other oxygen molecules to form ozone (O3). The natural way for ozone to deplete is ozone absorbs UV rays, splitting the molecule into a free oxygen atom and one molecule into a free oxygen atom and one molecule of oxygen [O + O2 ® O3](). The free oxygen atom then collides with another molecule of oxygen to form two molecules of oxygen [ O3 + O ® 2O2](3). The addition of CFCs to the atmosphere has more than doubled the destruction cycle of ozone by adding a man-made cycle to the...

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