The Ozone layer is a deep blanket in the stratosphere made up of comparatively high concentration of the ozone. As a result of its chemical composition, ozone is regarded as a special type of oxygen as it contains three oxygen molecules (O3) as opposed to the usual two oxygen molecules (O2).
Causes of Ozone Layer Depletion
There have been several concerns about ozone depletion. The problems and causes associated with ozone depletion arise from human activities. Unlike pollution which has several causes, there is one specific chemical compound that is responsible for the breakdown of the ozone layer.
These chemical compounds are present in many industrial manufactured products and aerosols. Nonetheless, since the discovery of ozone depletion, the Montreal Protocol was established to regulate the manufacture and use of these chemical compounds.
Effects of Ozone Layer Depletion
Effect on health of humans
With depletion in ozone’s layer, we humans are more prone to UV rays that reaches the Earth’s surface. If the ozone layer is depleted, it means humans will be overly exposed to strong UV light. Overexposure to strong UV light causes skin cancer, cataracts, sunburns, weakening of immune system and quick aging.
Effect on plants
Many crops species are vulnerable to strong UV light and overexposure may well lead to minimal growth, photosynthesis and flowering. Some of the crop species vulnerable to UV light include barley, wheat, corn, oats, rice, broccoli, tomatoes, cauliflower just to name a few. Forests equally bear the brunt of ozone depletion. Plants become another casualty by radiation effects of UV rays. The physiological and developmental processes of plants are also severely affected apart from the growth
Effect on marine ecosystems.
UV rays also have adverse effect on the marine ecosystems. It badly affects the planktons that form the foundation of aquatic food webs.
Effect on biogeochemical cycles.
Increases in UV radiation alters both sources and sinks of greenhouse gasses in the biosphere e.g.: e.g., carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, carbonyl sulfide, ozone, and possibly other gases
Solutions to Ozone Layer Depletion
Depletion to ozone layer depletion does not affect a region or a country. In fact whole world is vulnerable to its after affects. The increase in the levels of UV rays lead to high rate of skin cancer and eye related problems. Lets have a look at some of the solutions to ozone layer depletion.
- Avoid products that results in ozone depletion.
- Advocate for ozone protection.
- Desist from using pesticides.
- Discourage driving of private vehicles.
- Utilize environmentally friendly cleaning products.
- Prohibit the use of harmful nitrous oxide.