Ozone is a molecule composed of three oxygen atoms and it is present in a gaseous form in the atmosphere, specifically located in and extended throughout the stratosphere.
Did you know that the ozone layer is essential for life to exist?
Its molecules act as a shield protecting us from solar radiation. When the radiation reaches the ozone layer, it passes through the ozone molecules and these are responsible for returning part of radiation back to space, in this way the radiation that reaches us is minimized.
What is the hole in the ozone layer?
It is a hole that allows the entry of large amounts of ultraviolent light and it is located at the poles, on the Antarctic continent and the Arctic Ocean, being especially large during the spring of both hemispheres and resulting in longer summer seasons.
Why is the hole in the ozone layer harmful?
Although this hole is due to the natural fluctuations of ozone in the atmosphere, it also caused by human activities which emit gases that end up in the stratosphere and degrade the ozone molecules, increasing the size and effect of this hole in the ozone layer. This is an environmental and health problem, since the excess of solar radiation is a threat to any form of life.
How can we protect the ozone layer?
- Avoid the consumption of gases dangerous to the ozone layer, due to their content or manufacturing process. Some of the most dangerous gases are CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons), halogenated hydrocarbon, methyl bromide and nitrous oxide.
- Minimize the use of cars. The best transport option is urban, bicycle, or walking. If you use a car to a destination, try to carpool with others to decrease the use of cars in order to pollute less and save.
- Do not use cleaning products that are harmful to the environment and to us. Many cleaning products contain solvents and substances corrosive, but you can replace these dangerous substances with non-toxic products such as vinegar or bicarbonate.
- Buy local products. In this way, you not only get fresh products but you avoid consuming food that has traveled long distances. As the more distance traveled, the more nitrous oxide is produced due to the medium used to transport that product.
- Maintain air conditioners, as their malfunctions cause CFC to escape into the atmosphere.
At Nutty Scientists, we have different environmental workshops teaching children in a fun and interactive way about the importance of taking care of our planet.