Essay on Student: Ozone Depletion and Environmental Protection Agency

Submitted By chieneturner
Words: 463
Pages: 2

The ozone layer is a belt of naturally occurring gases located in the Earth's stratosphere. It serves as a protective shield against the harmful ultraviolet B radiation that is emitted from the sun. The dangers of excessive ultraviolet B radiation reaching the earth includes an increase in skin cancer, cataract and weekend immune system. It could also hinder the reproductive cycle of phytoplankton; the bottom rung of the food chain. In 1995 three british scientist discovered a hole in the Antarctic ozone. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (2012), in recent years there have been widespread concerns that the ozone layer is depleting. Scientists also figure out that the ozone depletion is cause from the release of substances such as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and hydrofluorocarbons (HCFCs), which are widely used as refrigerants, insulating foams, and solvents. Other ozone depleting substances include: methyl bromide (pesticide), halons (fire extinguishers), and methyl chloroform (a solvent in industrial processes). When these substances reach the stratosphere, the ultraviolet radiation break them apart causing a release of the chlorine atoms, which starts a destructive chemical cycle that depletes the ozone layer.

Another cause for concern is global warming; the temperature increase of Earth's ocean, surface and air. According to the Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change (IPCC) (2007), the chief cause of global warming is environmental pollution. The industrialization of the world is adding more carbon to Earth's natural carbon cycle; which is trapping more heat in the atmosphere than normal and causing Earth's temperature to increase. Although global warming is not the main cause of the ozone depletion, they are closely linked to the further destruction of the ozone layer. Greenhouse gases trap heat in the troposphere causing global warming and hindering heat from reaching the stratosphere. This action causes the troposphere to become warmer while making stratosphere cold. According to the Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change (IPCC)