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y Global warming is the systematic increase of the earth's temperature that is caused mostly by greenhouse gases. The main natural greenhouse gases are methane and carbon dioxide, says the Sierra Club. But, man-made gases like chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), hydrofluorocarbons (HCFs) and perfluorocarbons (PFCs) also contribute to the global warming effect, increasing the temperature by holding the heat on the earth. Essentially, the gases trap the heat by absorbing energy from the sun, only allowing some of the heat energy to return to space.
What is ozone depletion?
y Ozone depletion, on the other hand, is the disappearance of ozone. The ozone layer is a dynamic protective layer above the earth; it's a layer approximately nine to 30 miles above the earth in the stratosphere (upper atmosphere). It constantly builds and destroys itself. When the rate of destruction surpasses the rate of construction, the ozone depletes. The ozone layers filter ultra-violet rays (UV rays). UV rays can be harmful to all life on earth in strong doses, including plant, animals and humans. The disappearing ozone may affect the rate of cataracts and skin cancer in humans.
Global Warming's Effects on Ozone Depletion
y Global warming isn't the direct cause of ozone depletion, but they share many similarities. The man-made CFCs like Freon are mostly responsible for the depletion of the ozone layer. The gases may also act as a greenhouse gas that traps the heat on earth, but to a lesser degree. Many gases that heat up the earth also tear down the ozone layer. In addition, CFCs may still influence the ozone because those gases stay in the atmosphere for a long time. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the ozone will return to normal levels by 2050. This is good news, but it won't necessarily influence the rate of global warming. Ozone is actually a greenhouse gas, contributing to trapping heat in the stratosphere. If the ozone layer depletes, it affects the temperature of the earth. The depletion contributes to a global cool down and significant weather changes in higher areas near the stratosphere.