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TOPIC: OZONE DEPLETION
D.O.A: 24-02-2010 D.O.S: 06-05-2010
SUBMITTED BY:DIPAK KUMAR B.Tech(MECHANICAL)
I take this opportunity to express my sincere thanks to all those people who helped me in completing this project successfully; this work of creation would not have been possible without their kind help, cooperation and extended support. First and foremost sincere thanks to my project guide Dr.Gurpinder Singh for his valuable guidance for completion of this work and also for providing the necessary facilities and support. Also I would sincerely like to thanks all my friends, faculty members and coordinators whose valuable suggestions and motivational words provided me required strength for completion of this term paper. I also thank the educational websites from which I have taken help.
CONTENTS: 1.0 What is ozone layer? 2.0 Measurement of Ozone
Ozone in Earth’s Atmosphere
4.0 Ozone Hole 5.0 Causes of Ozone Depletion 6.0 Effects of Ozone Depletion 7.0 Myths about Ozone Depletion 8.0 Future Scope 9.0 References
1.0 What is Ozone Layer?
The ozone layer is a deep layer in the stratosphere, encircling the Earth that has large amounts of ozone in it. The layer shields the entire Earth from much of the harmful ultraviolet radiation that comes from the sun. Interestingly, it is also this ultraviolet radiation that forms the ozone in the first place. Ozone is a special form of oxygen, made up of three
oxygen atoms rather than the usual two oxygen atoms. It usually forms when some type of radiation or electrical discharge separates the two atoms in an oxygen molecule (O2), which can then individually recombine with other oxygen molecules to form ozone (O3). The ozone layer became more widely appreciated when it was realized that certain chemicals mankind manufactures, called chlorofluorocarbons, find their way up into the stratosphere where, through a complex series of chemical reactions, they destroy some of the ozone. As a result of this discovery, an international treaty was signed; the manufacture of these chemicals was stopped. The concentration of ozone varies with altitude. Peak concentrations, an average of 8 molecules of ozone per million molecules in the atmosphere, Occur between an altitude of 30 and 35 kilometres.
2.0 Measurement of Ozone Concentration- Dobson Unit
The Dobson Unit is the most common unit for measuring ozone concentration. One Dobson Unit is the number of molecules of ozone that would be required to create a layer of pure ozone 0.01 millimetres thick at a temperature of 0 degrees Celsius and a pressure of 1 atmosphere (the air pressure at the surface of the Earth). Expressed another way, a column of air with an ozone concentration of 1 Dobson Unit would contain about 2.69x10 16 ozone molecules for every square centimetre of area at the base of the column. Over the Earth’s surface, the ozone layer’s average thickness is about 300 Dobson Units or a layer that is 3 millimetres thick.
3.0 Ozone in Earth’s Atmosphere:
The highest levels of ozone in the atmosphere are in the stratosphere, in a region also known as the ozone layer between about 10 km and 50 km above the surface (or between about 6 and 31 miles). Here it filters out photons with shorter wavelengths (less than 320 nm) of ultraviolet light, also called UV rays, (270 to 400 nm) from the Sun that would be harmful to most forms of life in large doses. These same wavelengths are also among those responsible for the production of vitamin D in humans. Ozone in the stratosphere is mostly produced from ultraviolet rays reacting with oxygen: O2 + photon (radiation < 240 nm) → 2 O O + O2 + M→ O3 + M The latter reaction is catalysed by the presence of certain free radicals, of which the most important are hydroxyl (OH), nitric oxide (NO) and atomic chlorine (Cl) and bromine (Br). In
recent decades the amount of ozone in the stratosphere has been declining mostly because of emissions of CFCs and similar chlorinated and brominated organic molecules, which have increased the concentration of ozone-depleting catalysts above the natural background. Ozone only makes up 0.00006% of the atmosphere.
4.0 Ozone Hole:
The ozone "hole" is really a reduction in concentrations of ozone high above the earth in the stratosphere. The ozone hole is defined geographically as the area wherein the total ozone amount is less than 220 Dobson Units. The ozone hole has steadily grown in size (up to 27 million sq. km.) and length of existence (from August through early December) over the past two decades. The ozone hole is not technically a “hole” where no ozone is present, but is actually a region of exceptionally depleted ozone in the stratosphere over the Antarctic that happens at the beginning of Southern Hemisphere spring (August–October). Satellite instruments provide us with daily images of ozone over the Antarctic region. The ozone hole image below shows the very low values (blue and purple coloured area) cantered over Antarctica on October 4, 2004. From the historical record we know that total column ozone values of less than 220 Dobson Units were not observed prior to 1979. From an aircraft field mission over Antarctica we also know that a total column ozone level of less than 220 Dobson Units is a result of catalyzed ozone loss from chlorine and bromine compounds. For these reasons, we use 220 Dobson Units as the boundary of the region representing ozone loss. Using the daily snapshots of total column ozone, we can calculate the area on the Earth that is enclosed by a line with values of 220 Dobson Units (the white line in the given figure).
5.0 Causes of Ozone depletion:
5.1 The main cause of ozone depletion is production of CFC's. Only a few factors combine to create the problem of ozone layer depletion. The production and emission of CFCs, chlorofluorocarbons, is by far the leading cause. Many countries have called for the end of CFC production because only a few produce the chemical. However, those industries that do use CFCs do not want to discontinue usage of this highly valuable industrial chemical. CFCs are used in industry in a variety of ways and
have been amazingly useful in many products. Discovered in the 1930s by American chemist Thomas Midgley, CFCs came to be used in refrigerators, home insulation, plastic foam, and throwaway food containers. Only later did people realize the disaster CFCs caused in the stratosphere. There, the chlorine atom is removed from the CFC and attracts one of the three oxygen atoms in the ozone molecule. The process continues, and a single chlorine atom can destroy over 100,000 molecules of ozone. In 1974, Sherwood Rowland and Mario Molina followed the path of CFCs. Their research proved that CFCs were entering the atmosphere, and they concluded that 99% of all CFC molecules would end up in the stratosphere. Only in 1984, when the ozone layer hole was discovered over Antarctica, was the proof truly conclusive. At that point, it was hard to question the destructive capabilities of CFCs. Even if CFCs were banned, problems would remain. There would still be no way to remove the CFCs that are now present in the environment. Clearly though, something must be done to limit this international problem in the future.
Reactions of ozone:
Chain Initiation: CFCl3 CF2Cl2 Chain Propagation: Cl ClO + + + + UV UV O3 O Light Light CFCl2 CF2Cl ClO Cl + + + + Cl Cl O2 O2
The free chlorine atom is then free to attack another ozone molecule and the chain reaction continues till the free chlorine atom is consumed by some other species. The overall result is the net removal of an O3 molecule from the stratosphere: O3 + 5.2 Due to reaction with NOx group: Another group that can destroy stratospheric ozone are the nitrogen oxides. These compounds come from exhausts of high altitude supersonic aircraft and from human and natural activities on earth. Solar radiation decomposes a substantial amount of the other nitrogen oxides to nitric oxide (NO), which participates in the destruction as follows. O3 NO + O3 NO2 + O O2 + NO2 + NO + O2 O O2 O 2O2
Over all reaction:
6.0 EFFECTS OF OZONE Depletion:
6.1 The Connection between Ozone Depletion and UVB Radiation Reductions in ozone levels will lead to higher levels of UVB reaching the Earth's surface. The sun's output of UVB does not change; rather, less ozone means less protection, and hence more UVB reaches the Earth. Studies have shown that in the Antarctic, the amount of UVB measured at the surface can double during the annual ozone hole. Another study confirmed the relationship between reduced ozone and increased UVB levels in Canada during the past several years. 6.2 Effects on Human Health Laboratory and epidemiological studies demonstrate that UVB causes no melanoma skin cancer and plays a major role in malignant melanoma development. In addition, UVB has been linked to cataracts. All sunlight contains some UVB, even with normal ozone levels. It is always important to limit exposure to the sun. However, ozone depletion will increase the amount of UVB and the risk of health effects. 6.3 Effects on Plants Physiological and developmental processes of plants are affected by UVB radiation, even by the amount of UVB in present-day sunlight. Despite mechanisms to reduce or repair these effects and a limited ability to adapt to increased levels of UVB, plant growth can be directly affected by UVB radiation. Indirect changes caused by UVB (such as changes in plant form, how nutrients are distributed within the plant, timing of developmental phases and secondary metabolism) may be equally, or sometimes more, important than damaging effects of UVB. These changes can have important implications for plant competitive balance, herb ivory, plant diseases, and biogeochemical cycles. 6.4 Effects on Marine Ecosystems Phytoplankton forms the foundation of aquatic food webs. Phytoplankton productivity is limited to the euphoric zone, the upper layer of the water column in which there is sufficient
sunlight to support net productivity. The position of the organisms in the euphoric zone is influenced by the action of wind and waves. In addition, many phytoplankton are capable of active movements that enhance their productivity and, therefore, their survival. Exposure to solar UVB radiation has been shown to affect both orientation mechanisms and motility in phytoplankton, resulting in reduced survival rates for these organisms. Scientists have demonstrated a direct reduction in phytoplankton production due to ozone depletion-related increases in UVB. One study has indicated a 6-12% reduction in the marginal ice zone. Solar UVB radiation has been found to cause damage to early developmental stages of fish, shrimp, crab, amphibians and other animals. The most severe effects are decreased reproductive capacity and impaired larval development. Even at current levels, solar UVB radiation is a limiting factor, and small increases in UVB exposure could result in significant reduction in the size of the population of animals that eat these smaller creatures. 6.5 Effects on Biogeochemical Cycles Increases in solar UV radiation could affect terrestrial and aquatic biogeochemical cycles, thus altering both sources and sinks of greenhouse and chemically-important trace gases e.g., carbon dioxide (CO2), carbon monoxide (CO), carbonyl sulphide (COS) and possibly other gases, including ozone. These potential changes would contribute to biosphere-atmosphere feedbacks that attenuate or reinforce the atmospheric build up of these gases. 6.6 Effects on Materials Synthetic polymers, naturally occurring biopolymers, as well as some other materials of commercial interest are adversely affected by solar UV radiation. Today's materials are somewhat protected from UVB by special additives. Therefore, any increase in solar UVB levels will therefore accelerate their breakdown, limiting the length of time for which they are useful outdoors.
7.0 Myths about Ozone Hole
MYTH 1: CFCS are heavier than air hence cannot reach ozone. False! Although CFCs and other ozone depleting substances (ODS) are heavier than air, the winds in the troposphere stir around ODS molecules to mix them with air and lift them up to the ozone layer.
MYTH2: VOLCANOES are causing ozone depletion. False! Although volcanic eruptions are powerful events that can inject hydrogen chloride into the atmosphere, the vast majority of eruptions are too weak to reach the STRATOSPHERE. ODS are the real source of stratospheric chlorine and thus ozone layer depletion. In addition to the link above, a discussion of role of aerosols from Mt. Pinatubo is also provided. MYTH3: OZONE DEPLETION occurs only in Antarctica. False! Ozone layer depletion has been measured everywhere outside of the tropics, not just Antarctica. MYTH4: No links exist between ozone hole depletion and higher UV levels. False! Studies have shown a clear connection between reduced ozone levels and higher levels of UVB, and laboratory experiments have confirmed that ozone absorbs UVB. 8. FUTURE SCOPE Will the Ozone Layer Recover? Can We Make More Ozone? The answer is: yes, assuming full compliance with the Montreal Protocol. It makes sense to explore the questions in reverse order, but understanding either answer requires some basic facts about how OZONE levels remain relatively constant and what ozone depletion means. In this discussion, we are mainly concerned with global ozone depletion, as opposed to what happens during the annual Antarctic ozone hole. Ozone molecules are constantly being produced and destroyed by different types of ultraviolet light from the sun. Normally, the production and destruction balances, so the amount of ozone at any given time is pretty stable. Think of the amount of ozone as the water level in a bucket with a small hole in the bottom and a hose adding water at the top. When you turn on the water, you'll find a balance point where the amount of water in the bucket stays constant, even though the hose is adding water and the hole is removing it. The addition and removal are happening at the same rate, so the water level stays the same. Note that the hole in the bucket is not analogous to the Antarctic ozone hole; the ozone hole is an area of severe depletion, but it is not a physical hole that drains away ozone. Now pour in a glass of water. You'll see that the water just drains faster for a little while until the level returns to the previous depth. The balance is stable. That's because with more water
in the sink, there's more pressure at the bottom, and the water drains faster. In the same way, if you dump more ozone into the ozone layer, the destruction process will speed up a little bit until the amount of ozone returns to the stable point. The other difficulty with simply manufacturing ozone is that the sun provides huge amounts of energy for the ozone production process. In fact, to produce the amount of ozone normally in the ozone layer, you'd have to use about double the total annual U.S. electricity production. There's simply no way we could create ozone fast enough, in large enough quantities, to replace the natural ozone production process. The issue with ozone depleting substances is that they add chlorine and bromine to the ozone layer, which effectively widens the hole. Thus, the stable point is lower than it used to be; this lowering of the stable point represents ozone depletion. Since we can't make more ozone, the solution is to reduce the hole in the bucket back to its natural size. The only way to do that is to remove the excess chlorine and bromine from the stratosphere. And the only way to do that is to stop making CFCs and several other chemicals. Although several other measures have been proposed to accelerate the removal of chlorine and bromine from the stratosphere, none has proven to be practical, and most could produce unwanted side effects that are not understood very well. Over time, stratospheric chlorine and bromine will combine with other chemicals and eventually fall back to Earth. That's the point of ending production of these chemicals under the Montreal Protocol and the Clean Air Act. The good news is that the stability works both ways. In our bucket, narrowing the hole allows the water inside to rise to a higher stable point. Similarly, by ending production of ozone depleting substances, we allow natural processes to remove excess chlorine and bromine, which slows the ozone destruction reactions to normal speeds, and the production process will have the chance to restore the ozone layer to normal levels. Scientists expect that with full compliance with the Montreal Protocol, the ozone layer will heal by about 2050.
• • • http://www.weatherquestions.com/What_is_the_ozone_layer.htm http://www.ozoneapplications.com/info/advantages_of_ozone.htm http://www.ozonemeters.com/Ozone_Advantages_7_info.html
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http://ozonewatch.gsfc.nasa.gov/facts/dobson.html http://www.beyonddiscovery.org/content/view.article.asp?a=73 http://environment.nationalgeographic.com/environment/global-
warming/ozone-depletion-overview.html • • http://www.nas.nasa.gov/About/Education/Ozone/ http://www.ucsusa.org/global_warming/science_and_impacts/science/
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