Ozone holes — a global environmental issue

Ozone holes — a global environmental issue

Since 1967, scientists around the world began to raise the issue of reducing the ozone layer. In the mid-80s of the last century, the Britain Antarctic Survey officially recorded a change in ozone saturation of the territory of the base by almost 40%.

Since 1967, scientists around the world began to raise the issue of reducing the ozone layer. In the mid-80s of the last century, the Britain Antarctic Survey officially recorded a change in ozone saturation of the territory of the base by almost 40%. Following the British scientists, researchers of the Arctic have also discovered an ozone hole but much smaller. The ozone leakage was approximately 9%.

Initially, the scientists attributed the causes of the formation of ozone holes only to the jet engines and airliners emissions of combustion products into the atmosphere. However, further studies have shown that the causes and problems of the appearing of ozone holes consist in human pollution of the natural environment. Emissions from plants and factories, freon, various aerosol cans significantly destroy the ozone layer.

Ozone holes formation

What is the cause and consequences of appearing ozone holes? In the stratosphere, ozone is absorbing solar ultraviolet radiation. Violation of the ozone layer increases the radiation flux which is detrimental not only to human health but also to animals and plants.

Under the influence of chlorine and its compounds, ozone is destroyed. For example, freon is destroyed by solar radiation and releases chlorine which tears the third atom from the ozone molecule. Chlorine does not create compounds with other elements but can be a catalyst. As a result, a chlorine atom alone damages significant amounts of ozone. However, chlorofluorocarbon is recognized as the main destroyer of ozone which, when it enters into a reaction, detaches 2 oxygen atoms from ozone violating the ozone layer.

Technological progress and ozone holes are closely interlinked. For example, in jet engines, nitrogen oxides are formed the emission of which rises with the increasing power of a turbojet engine.

Restoration of the ozone layer

The international community has recognized that the ozone hole is one of the global problems. The reasons are the anthropogenic factor and the natural processes polluting the atmosphere. Signed in 1987, the Montreal Protocol has provided a list of chlorofluorocarbons banned for production.

Recent studies have shown that the map of ozone holes completely repeats the map of methane deposits. Based on this, a new theory appeared — the ozone holes have always existed.

The cessation of the production of ozone-depleting substances has yielded success.
Currently, the largest hole above Antarctica has significantly decreased.
For preventing further destruction and restoring of the ozone layer, the following steps might be needed:

  • improvement of treatment structures on chimney pipes;
  • full transition to the use of organic fertilizers;
  • creation of environmentally-friendly vehicles.
    According to scientific predictions, the problem can be solved by 2070.

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