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The Ozone Layer

Posted by Chris Shrestha

The Ozone Layer

The Earth's atmosphere comprises of various layers, the first which extends up to 10 km from the Earth's surface is the 'Troposhere'. Above this as the 'Stratosphere' which is between 10 and 50 km, then the 'Mesosphere' between 50 and 80 km and finally there is the 'Ionosphere' which is located between 80 and 500 km from the Earth's surface with temperature as high as 2000 degree centigrade.

About 30 km above the Earth's surface in the Stratosphere is a layer of gas which surrounds the Earth, this gas is called Ozone which is a form of oxygen. As the Sun's rays enter the Earth's atmosphere Ozone filters the harmful ultra violet rays and prevents them from reaching the Earth.

If this layer were not there then the ultra violet rays would destroy all life on Earth. Because of it s acting as a filter this layer is a warm layer with temperature about 50 degree. Increased industrial development on Earth has in turn increased the pollutin levels in the air, besides this the use of certain chemicals including CFC's has begun to destroy this layer and holes in it have been discovered over the Antarctica and the Arctic circle. Depletion of the Ozone layer would result in an increase in temperature on Earth and a rise in the water levels of the oceans not to mention the harmful ultra violet rays.

Environmentalists are concerned about the depltion of this layer. Worldwide campaigns have been launched to control pollution and the use of certain ozone destroying chemicals. The biggest contributor to pollution levels is smoke which comes out of the exhausts of vehicles and the smoke from the factories and power stations. Various precautions can be taken in day to day life so that pollution levels are decreased and the ozone layer saved.

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