The Ozone Layer 2 Essay, Research Paper
The problem which I decided to adress in my campaign was the problems that are currently facing our Earth’s ozone layer and breathable air. In this report I wish to educate you about the effects of ozone and hopefully I will motivate you to change your attitudes and actions to help with the problem.
Ozone is defined as an odorless, colorless gas made up of three atoms of oxygen. It exists in our Earths upper atmosphere and at ground level. In the upper atmosphere, ozone serves as a protective shield to our Earth. It protects us by burning up things like asteroids or meteors before they hit our planet. It serves as a protective shield between ultra-violet rays of energy coming from our sun which have been proven to cause skin cancer. And it also is responsible for holding all of Earths oxygen by forming a sphere-like shape around our planet. Therefore our Earth’s ozone layer has a very big role in keeping our beautiful planet Earth alive. But this particular kind of ozone is infact being destroyed by man today. Scientists have recently found a few holes in our ozone layer. The main of which is located above the south-pole and sized larger than the entire United States. It is being depleted by man-made chemicals frequently used on Earth today. Chemicals from aeresol sprays, air-conditioners, refridgerators, and cars etc. mainly because of their use of the chemical freeon and other chemicals toxic to ozone.
There is another way however in which ozone is infact harmful. This occurs when ozone is formed at ground-level. It is often formed by pollutants from refineries, chemical plants, industrial boilers, power plants, and cars that are under the pressure of sunlight which effects their chemical composition. Over the years, scientists have been able to prove that ozone that is inhaled by people, often through a colored air called smog, can cause life-shortening effects on the respiratory system.
These effects of ozone contained in smog vary in the amount of damage they produce. Some cases actually just result in a cough or pain in the chest area only for terms of minutes to hours, others however can even be life threatening. Effects such as reduced lung function, inflaming and damaging of the lining of the lung, aggravated asthma etc. can result from a long-term exposure to ozone. Scientists are beginning to suspect many new health risks in the inhalation of ozone.
There are also a few global effects both of these kinds of ozone posess. One, is a process called global warming. This process, taking place on Earth now, is the all around heating of our planets temperatures due to a build up of “green house gasses.” (carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide) Since 1896 it has been known that these gasses stop the suns infrared energy (which is being brought into our Earth’s atmosphere by the depletion of good ozone,) from escaping into space which is what relevates Earth’s warm temperatures. (This is called the Greenhouse Effect,) The overlaoding of these chemicals causes an overuse of the greenhouse effect which could elevate the worlds temperatures. Which eventually lead to the melting of the polar ice-caps and cause coastal flooding. The second global problem is the holes in the ozone layer. These holes allow the suns ultra-violet rays to pass through and greatly increase the risk of skin cancer. If these holes continue to grow due to the use of man-made chemicals toxic to ozone, it will result in the destruction of the entire ozone layer which could eventually fry our Earth.
There are several things you can do however to help with the problem. One is to watch how much freeon and other chemicals you use which are harmful to the Earth’s “good ozone.” You can do this by car pooling as often as possible, owning a minimum of one refridgerator, using the smallest amount of aeresol sprays that you possibly can, walking or riding your bike whenever possible, using public transportation, and you can also contact your local wildlife protection agency, (such as the Department of Natural Resources). Scientists around th world are trying to come up with new ways to conserve our ozone layer. Such as the recent invention of the electric and paper burning automobile. Also studies are being run in the U.S. and globally to recreate this ozone to patch up our ozone layer. You contact your area politician or wildlife protection agency for more information on your own actions in the problem or simply for input on research being conducted around the world.