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Ozone Depletion Essay

1413 words - 6 pages

The environment generally refers to the surrounding’s of an object or an individual. It can be in the form of the physical environment, biophysical environment, built environment, social environment and the natural environment among other forms. The natural environment refers to the naturally occurring flora and fauna together with the land on which they occupy.
Environmental issues have been a cause of a lot of debate in the recent past. Governments and nongovernmental organizations have been in constant consultations on how to help protect the environment. Apparently, as a result of man’s many actions, the natural environment is getting torn apart so quickly that the coming generations will not enjoy this kind of environment, unless a lot of conservation efforts are put into place.
Among the issues that are ailing the environment currently is population explosion that puts a lot of pressure on the available resources. As a result of increasing population, human beings have become a burden to the natural environment (Ryding 170). Their activities have brought about pollution i.e. from factories, climate change issues, environmental degradation, environmental health issues, ozone layer destruction, global warming, land degradation, resource degradation, toxins and wastes.
During the 21st century, the media have been upbeat about information regarding the destruction of the environment. Of major concern are the effects of human activities in destroying the ozone layer (Ryding 170). The ozone layer is a thick layer of air covering the earth. It is located in the stratosphere 10 to 15 kilometers above the earth. The ozone layer consists of two layers all filled intensely with oxygen molecules. Oxygen found in the ozone layer is quite different having three atoms instead of the usual two for normal oxygen. It is formed naturally in the upper stratosphere by shortwave ultraviolet rays.
Why is the ozone layer of much concern to scientists and environmentalists? The ozone layer is quite beneficial to human life and existence. The destruction of this layer has been linked to the now common health conditions such as cancers, skin conditions and cataracts among others. It is apparent that, without the ozone layer, all humanity would be lost to disease.
Scientists all over the world have been widely researching to find out ways in which the ozone layer is being destroyed through human actions. The ozone layer is gradually being destroyed by ozone depleting chemicals. These chemicals include chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), hydroflourocarbons (HFCs), methyl bromide, halons, methyl chloroform and carbon tetrachloride among others (Ryding 173). These chemicals are used locally in coolants, fire extinguishers, solvents, pesticides, aerosol propellants and foaming agents.
These chemicals, once released, take quite a long time to degrade. It takes them years to move through the atmosphere to the location of the ozone layer. These chemicals are broken down by...

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