The Ozone Layer Essay Research Paper The — страница 3

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the bottom of the food chain led to a reduced krill level. When it came to penguins, their food source, the krill, was depleted so there wasn’t enough food to support the natural penguin population. The Ozone Layer Practical Applications/Societal Problems The study of the ozone layer and what to do to save is not only a choice research, but also a necessary issue that has to be completely understood, so that the life on earth is not jeopardized. We need ozone as it protects us from the harmful ultra-violet rays produced by the sun. There are three different types of ultra-violet rays:  UV-A which is almost harmless  UV-B which is more harmful  UV-C which is deadly to any living thing.  When UV-C gets through the layer of ozone to our atmosphere, it may cause an

increase in:  eye cataracts  skin cancer  deformities The main problem that faces society is the use of CFC s and how it has to be stopped. Pollutants come from all over the place, and since they are discovered now, people around the world are trying to avoid them. The chemical industry didn t know at first that CFC s were harmful to human life. CFC’s used to be used to cheaply clean electronic circuit boards. Being stable, harmless to humans, they were thought of as a perfect cleaning solution, and by the 1970’s, CFC cleaning was used in huge quantities. It was a very costly process to make industries get rid of their CFC s and change their use to ozone-safe methods that are not only more environmentally friendly, but they have reduced the defect ratio in electronic

products. Another ozone layer pollutant is transportation aircraft that we use today for mass-transit. High-speed supersonic airplays that fly high in the stratosphere are potentially dangerous to the ozone located in the upper stratosphere. A fleet of high speed commercial airplanes would be estimated to deplete the ozone layer by only about 2% a year, but it is still a contributing factor in a much bigger problem. The gasses from the exhaust from planes flying in the upper stratosphere can stay in the stratosphere for up to two years, so the life span of them is very short-lived compared to those of CFC’s. Effects of the ozone hole in Antarctica have already been seen in some of the organisms. Most of the Antarctic organisms have a low tolerance for UV radiation since for

most of the year, hardly any direct sunlight reaches the southern-most continent. With the reduced ozone, UV-B radiation has been able to penetrate the atmosphere with a higher intensity. Already, on the base of the Antarctica food chain, an impact has been felt. UV-B radiation has already reduced the plankton populations by between 6% and 12%. That means 6-12% less food at the start of the food chain. Consequently, species higher up have felt the impact. The Ozone Layer Conclusion The ozone hole is here to stay for at least about 50 years before the ozone levels will start to return to their normal levels. Many ideas of trying to manually repair the ozone hole have been looked at. The most obvious solution would be to manually add ozone to the depleted areas of the stratosphere.

Unfortunately, that is not a feasible solution. From what we do know about the Antarctic stratospheric mechanics, the ozone levels have worked out a balance even with depleted levels. Any ozone that we would artificially add would most likely be destroyed and would not help our problem in the long run. A more futuristic approach is to destroy the CFC’s when they are in the troposphere with high-powered infrared lasers located on mountainsides. CFC molecules can absorb up to 30 infrared photons before they are destroyed, so a powerful blast would have to be a maintained. It is thought, however, that the infrared laser beams would be shifted out of the needed frequency range before they got to the level of the atmosphere where the CFC’s were targeted to be destroyed. Another

possible plan is to dump about 50,000 tons of ethane or propane into the Antarctic stratosphere each spring. The chemicals would transform active ozone-depleting chlorine into non-ozone depleting HC1. The hydrocarbons (propane and ethane) unfortunately would decompose in about a year, so this expensive process would have to be repeated annually. Right now, there are no official plans to try to “fix” the ozone hole in the Antarctic because we don’t know enough about stratospheric mechanics to do so. Our trying to fix the problem might make the problem even worse, or impossible to repair. For now, we are stuck with an ozone-depleted Antarctic. In the meantime, there are small things that contribute to eventually saving the ozone layer. These gases are found in:  aerosol