Environmental Chemistry

What is ozone layer depletion and its effects?

Ozone layer depletion and it's effects ?

Ozone layer depletion effects
Ozone layer depletion

Ozone Layer depletion is listed here in this article first we have to go through what is ozone layer so we started talking about it.

What ozone layer?

What ozone layer is? It consists of three oxygen atoms and it is an allotropic form of oxygen.

Formation of Ozone :

It is formed in the atmosphere by the association of an oxygen atom with the oxygen molecule in the mid of the stratosphere.

Equation :

O + O2 —————-> O3

Ozone  :

It is present throughout the atmosphere.  But its maximum concentration called the ozone layer lies in the stratosphere region about 25 to 30 km away from the earth’s surface.

Ozone layer beneficial for life on the earth :

This layer surrounds the globe and protects Earth like a shield from harmful ultraviolet radiations of sunlight. Otherwise, these radiations would cause skin cancer. That’s why it lies in the stratosphere is beneficial for life on the earth.

Balance in ozone concentration :

Under normal conditions, ozone concentration in the stratosphere remains nearly constant through a series of complex atmospheric reactions.  Two reactions that maintain a balance in ozone concentration are as follows.

Equation, :

O2 + O ———–> O3 (formation)

O3 + O ———-> 2O2 ( decomposition)

Causes of depletion of ozone layer :

This  is being depleted through various chemical reactions such as;

Chlorofluorocarbons :

Chlorofluorocarbons CFC3 are a major cause of the depletion of the ozone layer. These compounds leak in one way or other,  escape, and diffuse to the stratosphere.  These ultraviolet radiations break the C-Cl bond in CFCl3 and generate chlorine-free radicals as

Equation :

CFCl3 (UV) ——–> CFCl2 + Cl*

These free radicals are very reactive.  They react with ozone to form oxygen as

Equation :

O3 + Cl ———> O3 + OCl*

OCl* ———> O* + Cl*

O* + O* ——–> O2

Ozone hole:

ozone hole on artic region:

ozone hole on artic region

A single chlorine-free radicals released by the decomposition of CFC3 is capable of destroying up to many lacs of ozone molecules.  The region in which the ozone layer depletes is called the ozone hole.

Signs of ozone depletion were first noticed over Antarctica in the 1980s. Since the 1990s depletion has also been recorded over the Arctic.

Ozone layer depletion effects :

1. Skin cancer :

Depletion of ozone enables ultraviolet radiations of sunlight to reach the earth, which can cause skin cancer to human beings and other animals.

2. Infectious disease :

Decreased ozone layer will increase infectious diseases like malaria.

3. Disruption of the food chain:

It can change the life cycle of plants disrupting the food chain.

4. Change in wind patterns:

It can change the wind patterns,  resulting in climatic change all over the world. Especially,  Asia and the Pacific will be the most affected regions,  facing climatic induced migration of people crises.

You must read it also :

Ozone layer protection?

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