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Depletion of the Ozone Layer

             People throughout the world are voicing concern with the environment. Today, it is not unusual to read about environmental problems. One problem that is important to all of us is the depletion of the ozone layer. One question being asked is, does the depletion of the ozone cause a danger to our health? Many experts would say yes. Today, the ozone is depleting in the summer as well as in the winter and not just over Antarctica, but also over other countries such as the United States. Many countries are starting to take steps to help reduce the depletion of the ozone. However, all the countries in the world need to come together and do more.
             "Ozone is a form of oxygen that is present in the Earth's atmosphere in small amounts (Brunnee 3)." The presence of ozone makes it possible for life on Earth. Ozone is made naturally by photochemical and discharge reactions (Brunnee 4). Photochemical production occurs when, " high energy radiation from the sun strikes ordinary oxygen molecules in the upper atmosphere." Lightening and sparks from motors also convert oxygen to ozone (Brunnee 3). The question about the destruction of the ozone layer revolves around whether human-made CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons) used in air-conditioners and refrigerators are breaking it down. This is the ozone thinning theory: "CFCs release chlorine into the stratosphere. leading to ozone destruction and exposing the planet to harmful ultraviolet rays (Cagin 6)." Critics who discount the thinning theory still say that chlorine comes from natural sources like volcanic eruptions and does not cause permanent damage (Cagin 6).
             NASA researches claim that they have evidence that shows CFCs are to blame for ozone depletion. Natural chlorine is only about 1/5 of the chlorine in the stratosphere because most of it dissolves in the rainwater before it reaches the ozone (Cagin 6). Oceans and volcanoes do release large amounts of chlorine, but this chlorine dissolves easily in water and washes out in the rain (Cagin 7).

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