It was in the late 90s of the previous century. In one of my books, I read that the temperature of Earth’s atmosphere has increased up to 5 degrees Celsius during the last century. My question to the science teacher was that what reason had been there behind that? It was the first instance when we heard anything about the greenhouse effect and the impact of the Ozone layer.
Ozone is an allotropic form of oxygen. Its chemical formula is O3. It is highly reactive and does not exist in free form in Earth’s lower atmosphere. Its highest concentration is found in the upper atmosphere of the Earth. This section of the air is called the stratosphere. Here, Ozone gathers in so much quantity that it forms a layer of its own. This layer is known as the Ozone layer.
Formation of Ozone Gas:
O3 is formed from dioxygen by the action of ultraviolet (UV) rays of light and electrical discharges within the Earth’s atmosphere. The highest levels where Ozone is present in the atmosphere are in the stratosphere. This region is also known as the ozone layer between about 10 km and 50 km above the surface of the Earth (or between about 6 and 31 miles).
Functioning of Ozone Layer:
The functionality of Ozone may be discussed under these headings.
Harmful to Human Health:
As a gas, O3 is very harmful to human health. It can cause breath related disorders and complications. These complications may be acute or chronic in nature.
Benefits of Ozone:
In a way, O3 is a great blessing of Allah Almighty. It saves us from many diseases. The Ozone Layer is accommodating in stopping the harmful rays of the Sun. These unsafe rays can create skin cancer and many other disorders to human beings. This layer also works as a filter for the ultraviolet rays of the Sun. When these ultraviolet rays reach the Earth, they react with the dioxide O2 and convert it into Ozone. Hence the quantity of oxygen is decreased, and the quantity of Ozone is increased in the atmosphere. Human beings feel much difficulty in breathing.
How Ozone is Beneficial for Us:
On the whole, the Ozone Layer is beneficial for every kind of living being on the face of the Earth. It becomes a source of growing and increasing greenery as it stops the harmfulness of those ultraviolet rays from the burning Sun. Hence it becomes very important for the survival and existence of life here.
Destruction of Ozone Layer:
On the one hand, nature has gifted us with such an essential and compulsory thing for our survival. However, on the other hand, the man himself is destroying this gift of God. For the first time in the 1970s, we came to know that it is being damaged and destroyed the Ozone layer by the man himself. As a consequence, the volume of carbon dioxide gas is increasing in the atmosphere, and this is increasing the greenhouse effect. This is the way that our Earth’s temperature on average has increased in the past few decades.
How Has Man Destroyed It?
The human race of Technology and development has resulted in the form of destruction of this priceless treasure. This age is the age of Science and Technology. From the zip of our pants to the nib of a pen, we are used to the Machines. Fossil fuels have become a necessity of life. Their combustion has resulted in the form of carbon dioxide gas and carbon monoxide gas.
Moreover, when we run our machines like refrigerators and room air conditioners, they emit chlorofluorocarbons. These chlorofluorocarbons, when reaching the ozone layer, they are converted into chlorine, and then this chlorine destroys the ozone layer. Similarly, some chemicals used in artificial fertilizers like nitrous oxide also destroy these ozone gas molecules. As a result, the ultraviolet rays of the Sun reach directly to the Earth and can damage life on Earth to a great extent.
Effects of this Destruction:
This destruction of the Ozone Layer has resulted in many dangerous things. The chances of cancer in human skin have increased many times. All the living things have been affected severely.
By the effects of chlorofluorocarbons and other elements that destroyed the ozone layer, a massive hole in the layer was created over Antarctica. It kept on increasing, and time it reached its top level of 6.3 million square miles (16. 4 million square km) on September 8, 2019. It was such a situation which no one had imagined. In the past, some years with average weather conditions, the intensity of the ozone hole naturally breeds to a full area of around 8 million square miles at the end of September or at the start of October.
COVID-19 and its Effect on Ozone Layer:
With the start of 2020, the whole world has been suffering from this viral disease COVID-19, and as a result, the whole world has been camouflaged. All the social and business activities are banned, and vehicles are not moving on the roads. Our Mills and factories are not working, and hence they are closed. What impact this COVID-19 have put on the ozone layer? Well, this has resulted in a fantastic way for the ozone layer. Due to the decrease in these human activities, the chlorofluorocarbons and other harmful materials are not reaching the O3 layer in that much amount. Therefore, this destroyed Ozone Layer is on the healing process. According to the experts, the Montreal protocol and COVID-19 both have played their part in the healing process of these Ozone holes. This healing of ozone holes is a piece of big good news for human beings.
As the life on the Earth owes a big deal to the O3 layer, therefore we should try our best to minimize the use of these vehicles and chemicals which emit chlorofluorocarbons and other harmful gases. We should use more public transport than private vehicles. Those fertilizers which emit nitrous oxide should be banned, or their use should be minimal. This will undoubtedly be a certificate for a better and healthy life on the face of the Earth.
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