Ozone Layer Depletion

Document Type:Research Paper

Subject Area:Other

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In addition, it led to the reduction in the use of products that were deemed harmful and catalytic to the destruction of the ozone layer. As per the Ozone layer depletion case suggests, the political economy of state-firm relations plays directly into the dynamics of global environmental politics. There are varied politics related to the Ozone layer depletion. A lot of blame is laid on developed nations especially the United States and Europe as being the perpetuators to Ozone depletion. The United Nation has developed various guidelines related to the atmospheric conservations. Developing nations feel disadvantaged as they are required to comply with the international set standards that are directed towards the curbing for further ozone depletion. Therefore, this paper shall focus on attributes related to the depletion of the ozone layer and its implication on posterity of the global population. Introduction Ozone is an atmospheric trace gas that is concentrated in the layer of the atmosphere known as stratosphere. It is a highly reactive molecule containing three oxygen atoms. The atmosphere comprises of four layers namely troposphere, stratosphere, mesosphere and the thermosphere. Each layer has its independent and distinct characteristics. The Stratosphere layer of the atmosphere has the ozone layer located within it. The layer is a belt of gas that occurs naturally. The ozone layer is situated roughly 10-50 kilometers above the ground surface. This layer acts as a shield against the harmful ultraviolet radiation (UV-B) from the sun towards the earth surface. Therefore, it plays a critical role of protecting life on the earth surface.

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The suns radiation sets off photochemical reactions in the stratosphere that continuously break down and create the ozone layer between 6. to 31miles above the earth through natural cycles. Components of Ozone layer (O3) According to Gillespie, the atmosphere comprises of several gases such as Oxygen (21%), Nitrogen (78%), Carbon (IV) oxide (0. and inert gases (1%). The detorariation of the ozone is due the presence of polluting agents in the atmosphere. The variation to the level of ozone is due to the presence of trace gases in the atmosphere. According to Kolb et al. trace gases refers to gases available in the atmosphere in amounts less than 1%. However, there has been significant increase of the atmospheric presence of trace gases such as nitric oxide, chlorine Sulphur (IV) oxide and bromine that have accelerated the destruction of Ozone layer.

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Further, trace gases in the atmosphere affects the temperature of the atmosphere through intensification of the greenhouse effect. These include Carbon (IV) oxide, methane and tropospheric ozone (75). Chlorine shifts the balance and reduces the amount of ozone in the stratosphere by hastening its conversion into two oxygen molecules. In addition, chlorine acts as a catalyst in the reaction process for the depletion of ozone in the atmosphere. Each chlorine atom can destroy thousands of ozone molecules before returning into the troposphere where precipitation removes it from the atmosphere. This compound contains only one carbon atom and is a subset of CFCs. According to Anderson et al. CFCs are the major contributors of chlorine in the atmosphere, which has a number of industrial uses like refrigeration, air conditioning, aerosol propellants, and the manufacturing of electronic parts.

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These have repealing effects on the atmospheric variability of ozone and thus have to be monitored (13). The concentration of trace gases in the atmosphere can be influenced locally, regionally and or even on global scale by the anthropogenic emissions. This incidence of cataracts is said to increase by 0. per 1% depletion of ozone. Therefore, 1% depletion of ozone leads to an increase in 100,000 blind persons globally. According to the report by the US Environmental Protection Agency (2015), an increased solar ultraviolet radiation on the earth surface due to the decrease in the stratospheric ozone results in the increased incidences of basal skin cancer. decrease of total column ozone layer leads to 3% rise in the incidence of non-melanoma skin cancer. The degradation of many materials, particularly plastics that are used in outdoor activities in tropical locations contributes to anthropogenic radiative forcing of global warming (Ward, 38).

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Causes of Ozone Layer Depletion The current cause of Ozone layer depletion entails the historic use of halogen, CFCs, and other chlorine and bromine containing chemicals in the developed nations. Therefore, industrial activities that entail the use of these chemicals result in the increased destruction of ozone in the atmosphere. Human activities like agricultural activities are also, seen as major contributors to the depletion of the Ozone layer in the atmosphere. Poor farming techniques that entail the use of Nitrogen fertilizer results in the increased levels of nitrous oxide in the atmosphere that reacts with ozone leading to its depletion. However, it is believed that for the earth to fully reclaim its chlorine to stable rates, it will take a period of at least 50 years. This means that the depletion of the ozone shall still be experienced for the entire of this period.

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According to Nersesian, humanity has to respond to the crisis pertaining the depletion of the ozone layer. This will help to prevent the crisis from re-occurring to the future generations. There are several ways that we can help in maintaining the ozone layer to stable levels. The implication of its depletion affects all human being from all walks of life regardless of whether you contributing to its depletion or not. The effects adversely affects all of us hence there is no need to bury our heads in the sand and assume everything is okay and that we are less concerned about it. For instance, we should not assume that it’s only those people with light skin pigment that will be affected most through the acquisition of skin cancer. The non-light skin pigmented people might contract eye cataract ant thus the implications cuts across the board.

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The largest depletion of it is in the high latitudes in both hemispheres. Internet resource Gillespie, Alexander.  Climate Change, Ozone Depletion and Air Pollution: Legal Commentaries with Policy and Science Considerations. Print. Granier, C. Netto P. Horn, J C. Murrell, and Claudia Knief.  The Impact of Microorganisms on Consumption of Atmospheric Trace Gases. Internet resource Murrell, J C, and Donovan P. Kelly.

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