I was browsing through the internet, and though I was aware of the issue of Ozone layer depletion, I never thought of penning down my views. But with the continuous reports about the Ozone Layer depletion, and its effects, I felt its necessary to share my thoughts on the same. So, here I am writing this blog to make you aware of the harmful effects of Ozone layer depletion. Also, note this topic may feature in your competitive exams like MBA entrance exams, or Government Exams, etc.
The Ozone reduces the chances of the harmful Ultra Violet radiation from reaching our Earth’s surface. The extent of the Ozone layer is in our Earth’s atmosphere is about 15 to 35km just above Earth. The layer is present at the lower end of the stratosphere. But now, this shield of Ozone seems to be breached. Scroll down to know more on the depletion of the Ozone layer and why its is a threat to our existence.
What is the Ozone Layer Depletion?
The Ozone layer depletion is the gradual thinning of our ozone layer present in the upper portion of the atmosphere. The harmful effects of Ozone layer depletion include a much much larger springtime reduction of the percentage of Ozone around Earth’s North and the South polar regions. This is also known as the ozone hole.
What is the cause behind the Ozone Layer Depletion?
After lots of study and research, I found that the cause behind the depletion of the Ozone layer is Mankind’s bid to Modernization through Industrialization. Sadly, it is the truth! The main reason behind the Ozone layer depletion and the creation of the ozone hole is –
- Manufactured Chemicals,
- Manufactured halocarbon refrigerants,
- Foam-blowing agents like the chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), HCFCs, and halons.
Scientists in the early 1970s have observed the trend in the reduction of Ozone in our atmosphere. The depletion of the Ozone Layer is more prominent near the poles. The Ozone Depleting Substances can sustain duration of 100 years. Mentioned below are Ozone Depleting Substances and their Sources:
|Ozone Depleting Substances||
What are their sources?
|Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs)||Refrigerators, ACs, Solvents, Dry-cleaning agents, and others|
|Carbon tetrachloride||Fire extinguishers and Solvents|
|Methyl chloroform||Aerosols, and Adhesives|
|Hydrofluorocarbons||Solvent cleaning, and Fire extinguishers|
So, what are the harmful effects of Ozone layer depletion? Read my findings below.
Ozone Layer Depletion – Harmful Effects
After reading a few articles on the same, I have summed up the harmful effects of the depletion of the Ozone Layer below:
- Ultra Violet-B rays may cause skin cancer; it causes malignant melanoma; one can get sunburns, aging, eye cataracts, blindness, and a weakened immune system.
- Even the animals will not be spared on direct contact with ultraviolet radiation. This can cause skin or eye cancer in animals.
- The Ozone layer depletion will expose plants, vegetation, and crops to these UV-B rays. The rays will damage plant life and crops. With it, crops will become inedible. It will directly affect the growth in plants, productivity, and lower the quality of crops. In a chain reaction, that will lead to soil erosion and affect the Carbon cycle.
- The marine life will not be spared. If the planktons and zooplankton decline due to UV-B rays’ exposure because of the Ozone layer’s depletion, the aquatic ecosystem may get disturbed.
What are the Solutions to Ozone Layer Depletion?
The Ozone layer depletion is a menace and threat to the entire Earth. I realized that various governments have now launched various plans to check the further depletion of the Ozone layer. One hundred ten countries agreed to work on curtailing production of Ozone Depleting Substances according to the 1987 Montreal Protocol. And many countries like India are aggressively working in this direction. Yes, my country is using substitutes for Ozone Depleting Substances.
- Avoid Using Pesticides – We can use natural methods and avoid using pesticides. Various eco-friendly chemicals can be used to get rid of pests or remove the weeds manually. On the regular impletion of this step I firmly believe that we can create some impact to avoid the harmful effects of Ozone layer depletion.
- Use of EVs – In one of the articles, I found that avoiding cars can reduce further Ozone layer depletion. I believe that is impractical. I feel Electric Vehicles can help in checking the Ozone layer getting compromised. EVs, check the emission of Carbon and Greenhouse Gases. It helps in checking air pollution and thus can help our cause.
- Use Natural Cleaning Products – It is found that most eco-friendly cleaning products contain chlorine and bromine, which may affect the Ozone layer after escaping to the atmosphere. I recommend more use of natural products.
- The Use of Nitrous Oxide should be stopped – Nitrous Oxide is a very harmful gas, and both the governments and the peoples must come together to stop using this completely. This gas can efficiently expedite the Ozone layer depletion.
Well, the depletion of the Ozone layer is a very serious issue. I am quite surprised about myself why I missed such an important topic. So, yes, penning this piece down to make people aware of the harmful effects of Ozone layer depletion here. If we take small steps regularly along with our governments, then we can put this menace at its place. I have started in a small way by using my geared bicycle for shorter distances to get rid of my car. I am sure my blog will create awareness among my readers on the Ozone layer depletion, and they also can contribute in this regard.