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Last updated 7 years ago

Environmental Studies

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What is Ozone?


What is happening?

Ozone is a type of gas that exists both in the Earth's atmosphere and at ground level. Depending on the location in the atmosphere of the Ozone, it can either be good or bad for peoples health and the surrounding environment


The Ozone Layer is made up of molecules that contain three oxygen atoms bound together and these are known as triatromic oxygen or O3. UV light breaks the oxygen gas into two atoms which then generate heat. The two remaining atoms attach to other sets of two gas molecules to form the ozone layer. The UV light breaks down the atoms into oxygen gas and oxygen atoms so that UV rays from the sun do not reach the Earth's surface.

The depletion of the ozone layer occurs when CFC molecules are introduced into the stratosphere. These molecules are able to travel in the stratosphere when most molecules would break down in the troposphere. They are made up of chlorine,fluorine and carbon atoms. After each cycle of ozone gas formation, chlorine begins its destructive cycle and is able to break down a large number of ozone molecules which are then unable to absord UV light which results to an increased concentration of UV rays within the Earth's Surface.


The good ozone is slowly being destroyed by man-made chemicals. This causes increased amounts of UV radiation to reach the Earth, which can therefore result in some health problems


The Australian Government has enforced an act for the ozone problem and have taken steps to reduce and manage the production that leads to the formation of ozone. These include:- Implementing national fuel quality standards and vehicle emission standards- Developing pollution forecasting systems for Australias major cities-Promoting bicycle use for short journeys

The Montreal Protocol was introduced and was considered as the most successful environment protection agreement. This agreement targeted 96 chemicals in thousands of applications that contribute to ozone depleting substances. It has provided developing countries with $2.5 billion in financial assistance to rule out the production and consumption of these depleting substances.

The sunny weather that is experienced in many parts of the world is increasing the chances of ozone forming at ground level. . Ground level ozone also damages vegetation and ecosystems. The growth of crops is reduced and tree seedlings will be put under stress and their survival rates will be reduced due to the ozone at ground level. The landscape of cities will also be damaged.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) warns that although ozone in the stratosphere protects us from harmful UV radiation, ozone at ground level is dangerous and puts Infants, children, and those with respiratory problems in danger. When pollutants from cars and industrial plants are mixed with the reaction of the sun, it forms ozone at the surface of earth.

The bad ozone is found at ground level which is an air pollutant that is harmful to breath and damages crops, trees and other forms of vegetation.

The good ozone is found in the stratosphere and is what protects life on earth from the ultraviolet rays that come from the sun.


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