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1. Why the hole in the atmospheric ozone layer
above us?
2. What has been done about this?
3. Why should I worry ourselves about the
Ozone Layer Depletion?
Good life at the beach threatened?

Mr. OZONE: Will I be able to continue enjoying

this life without problems?
The Discovery
 In 1985, using satellites, balloons,
and surface stations, a team of
researchers had discovered a balding
patch of ozone in the upper
stratosphere, the size of the United
States, over Antarctica.

British Atlantic Survey Research station, Holly Bay, Antarctic

Team who discovered the hole 1985.

From left: Joe Farman, Brian Gardiner, and Jonathan
Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer
 Used by NASA to measure
ozone concentrations
 TOMS – a satellite-borne
 TOMS launched in 1996 –
makes 35 measurements every
8 seconds
 Levels of ozone are measured
in Dobson units (DU), where
100 DU is equivalent to a 1
millimeter thick layer of pure Artist's view of the QuikTOMS spacecraft
(image credit: NASA)
Earth’s Atmosphere
The ozone layer

•Ozone is a triatomic form of

oxygen (O3) found in Earth’s upper
and lower atmosphere.

•The ozone layer, situated in the

stratosphere about 15 to 30 km
above the earth's surface.

•Ozone protects living organisms by

absorbing harmful ultraviolet
radiation (UVB) from the sun.

•The ozone layer is being destroyed

by CFCs and other substances.

• Ozone depletion progressing

globally except in the tropical zone.
What is Ozone? Ozone Layer?
 Ozone (O3) is a highly-reactive from of oxygen.
 Unlike oxygen (O2), ozone has a strong scent and is
blue in color.
 Ozone exists within both the tropospheric and
stratospheric zones of the Earth’s atmosphere
 In the troposphere, ground level ozone is a major air
pollutant and primary constituent of photochemical
 In the stratosphere, the ozone layer is an essential
protector of life on earth as it absorbs harmful UV
radiation before it reaches the earth.
Hole Formation Based on Two different
 Meteorological
• Movement of air from
one place to another in
the upper stratosphere
• Cold temperature in
the upper atmosphere
causes nitric acid to
freeze into crystals
forming wispy pink
• Forms a vortex of
tightly twisted winds
thus forming a hole in
the upper atmosphere

 Different chemicals are responsible for the destruction of the ozone

 Topping the list :
• chlorofluorocarbons (CFC’s)
• man-made, non-toxic and inert in the troposphere
• In the stratosphere are photolysed, releasing reactive chlorine
atoms that catalytically destroy ozone
A combination of low temperatures and
elevated chlorine and bromine concentrations
are responsible for the destruction of ozone in
the upper stratosphere thus forming a “hole”.
(Kerr, 1987) education/ed
The Ozone Layer

• 16 – 35 km (above bkgd
• Stratosphere contains about
90% of all atmospheric ozone
• Total column ozone: ~300 DU
(1 DU = 0.3 cm thick layer at
1 atm)

– What is the maximum concentration of ozone in the ozone

• Maximum of absolute conc about 23 km (up to 1013 molecules/mL)
• Maximum of relative conc about 35 km (up to 10 ppm)
CFC’s and ozone depletion
 Chlorofluorocarbons are
created and used in
refrigerators and air
conditioners. These
chlorofluorocarbons are not
harmful to humans and have
been a benefit to us. Once
released into the atmosphere,
chlorofluorocarbons are
bombarded and destroyed by
ultraviolet rays. In the process
chlorine is released to destroy
the ozone molecules
Destruction of ozone by chlorine

Molecular oxygen is broken down in the stratosphere by solar

radiation to yield atomic oxygen, which then combines with
molecular oxygen to produce ozone. The ozone is then
destroyed by chlorine atoms.
Ozone destruction by UV rays
 UV radiation from the sun
releases the radicals Cl and
 Ozone is a highly unstable
molecule so it readily donates
its extra oxygen molecule to
free radical species such as
hydrogen, bromine, and
 These compound species act
as catalysts in the breakdown
of ozone molecules.
The ozone depletion process
Responsibility for ozone damage
each year
Global CFC production
Ozone hole in September 2006

“Largest hole in the record.”

~Size of North America

Source: NASA
Ozone hole in Southern hemisphere
October 1979 & 1998

 Monthly means of total ozone in the Southern

Hemisphere observed with TOMS (Total Ozone
Mapping Spectrometer)
 Images for October of 1979 (left) and 1998 (right).
Ozone concentration at the center
of ozone hole
Effects of UV rays on Aquatic Ecosystems
Ozone depletion causes increases in UV
rays’s effects on aquatic ecosystems by:
1. decreasing the abundance of phytoplankton –
affects the food stock for fishes and the
absorption of CO2
2. decreasing the diversity of aquatic organisms –
reduces food stock and also destroys several
fish and amphibians.
Effects of UV rays on Terrestrial

 Damage to plant cell DNA molecules - makes

plants more susceptible to pathogens and

 Reductions in photosynthetic capacity in the

plant - results in slower growth and
smaller leaves
 Causes mutations in mammalian cells
and destroys membranes
Harmful effects of UV rays on people
 Skin cancer
 Premature aging (photoaging) of the
skin (different from normal
chronological aging)
 Cataracts and eye disorders (corneal
sunburn and blindness)
 Immune system damage
Correlation between Ozone depletion
and skin diseases