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All you need to know about Ozone layer depletion

Last Updated: Friday, September 6, 2013 - 00:01

Zee Media Bureau/Shruti Saxena

New Delhi: We hear about the Ozone layer depletion due to climate change very often but hardly understand as to what impact this phenomenon can actually cause to our mighty planet Earth.

What is Ozone layer?

The ozone layer is a deep layer in the stratosphere, encircling the Earth that has large amounts of ozone in it. It acts as Earth`s natural guard against ultraviolet radiations (UV rays), which can cause skin cancer.

What is an Ozone hole?

The phenomenon of depletion of ozone layer has appeared, first over Antarctica in Northern hemisphere and Polar Regions. The main cause for ozone loss is due to chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). Apart from CFCs, other harmful gases that are a resultant of human activities also contribute to ozone layer depletion.

Impact of Ozone layer depletion on Earth

For every 10% depletion of the ozone layer, one can expect 20% increase in UV radiation reaching to Earth. This radiation is very harmful as it can hamper immune system, alter genes, can cause skin cancer, damage crops, disrupt marine life and lead to an increase in global warming by affecting the CO2 absorption capacity of planktons in the ocean.

Overall atmospheric ozone is no longer declining as concentrations of ozone-depleting substances are now decreasing at a rate of about 1 percent every year. The decrease is the result of an international agreement regulating the production of certain chemicals.

First Published: Friday, September 6, 2013 - 00:01

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