Starting from the industrial revolution, our skill to revolutionize the world around us has become intense. Before, the impact on our planet was almost unnoticeable. Recently, the effects of our increased activity have created a noticeable impact to the world. We have thinned the ozone layer and may now be starting to change the very climate system upon which we and all other life on Earth depend on. It’s like we are experimenting with the future, but unlike lab experiments, we can scrap it and start a new one is it fails, but altering the climate cannot be easily undone. We will be forced to live with the consequences for a very long time. Undoing what we have done to the ozone layer is not that simple.
What is the ozone layer? The ozone layer is a part of the stratosphere containing highly poisonous O3 gas with a strong odor. Ozone is formed by the action of solar ultraviolet light on oxygen. Ozone at ground level is a health hazard. High concentrations of ozone at ground level are dangerous to breathe and can damage the lungs. However, the ozone layer inhibits most ultraviolet and other high energy radiation from entering to the earth's surface.
The ozone has been thinning since the 70s, but there was no hard proof that it was. In the mid 80's, scientists have discovered that a "hole" formed in the ozone layer, in an area where the ozone was up to 50 percent thinner than normal and it develops occasionally in the ozone layer above Antarctica. The hole in Earth's ozone layer keeps on getting bigger and bigger. Besides, the ozone layer is predictable to continue thinning well into the next century. Ozone layer protects the planet from dangerous ultraviolet solar rays, without the ozone layer, life will not be able to survive.
Scientific evidence shows that the stratospheric ozone is being demolished by a set of manufactured chemicals, which contain chlorine and or bromine. These chemicals are called ozone depleting substances or ODS for short.
ODS are highly stable, nontoxic and environmentally friendly in the lower atmosphere, which is the reason why they have become so popular in the first place itself. However, their stability allows them to float up easily, unbroken, to the stratosphere. Once there, they are broken apart by the intense ultraviolet light, releasing chlorine and bromine....