Environmental Chemistry

What is depletion of ozone layer ?

Ozone layer depletion and it's effects ?

ozone layer

What is depletion of ozone layer?

Depletion of ozone layer 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 atmosphere by the association of an oxygen atom with the oxygen molecule in the mid of stratosphere.

Equation :

O + O2 —————-> O3

Ozone  :

It  is present throughout the atmosphere.  But it’s maximum concentration called ozone layer lies in stratosphere region about 25 to 30 km away from the earth 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. Thats why it lies in stratosphere is beneficial for life on the earth.

Balance in ozone concentration :

Under normal conditions ozone concentration in 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;

Chloroflurocarbons :

Chloroflurocarbons CFC3 are major cause of depletion of ozone layer. These compounds leaks in one way or other,  escape and diffuse to 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 radical realesed by the decomposition of CFC3 is capable of destroying upto many lacs of ozone molecules.  The region in ozone layer depletes is called ozone hole.

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

Effects of Ozone depletion :

1. Skin cancer :

Depletion of ozone enables ultraviolet radiations of sunlight to reach to the earth, that 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 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 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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The greenhouse effect diagram?


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