Scientist and environmentalists from around the world are worried about the rapid deterioration of the ozone layer. Likewise the hole in our thinning ozone layer is getting bigger everyday which means that nothing much is being done to at least neutralize its alarming rate of depletion.
Ozone layer is a protective shield or layer found in our atmosphere. It is positioned in an altitude of about 25 kilometers from the surface of the earth. Ozone layer acts a shelter over our heads to protect us from ultraviolet rays which can cause skin cancer and other diseases.
In 2006, the ozone hole was measured by scientists at 29 million square kilometers. This is approximately the size of North America. In 2007, we managed to reduce the size of the hole to about 25 million square kilometers. But this year the hole increased again in size to about 27 million square kilometers. The periodic changes in the size of the hole clearly indicate that the thinning ozone layer and the ozone hole are still controllable with human intervention.
The depletion of ozone is primarily caused by ozone destructive gases that are produced by industries and other sources of pollutants including chlorofluorocarbons or CFC’s that are used in air-conditioning. The indiscriminate destruction of our forests and watersheds likewise continue to take its toll on the life of our planet.
Some known effects of ozone layer depletion include skin cancer and cataract on humans, increased UV radiation on plants that may cause plant diseases, destruction and extinction of plankton which is one of the life support micro organism for fish and marine life.
Understanding the nature of ozone layer and knowing the effects it brings to our environment will help in preserving our planet for the next generation. Some of the things that we can do or contribute to the preservation of ozone layer are as follows:
- Stop usage of harmful materials such as chlorofluorocarbons or CFC’s
- Refrain from using non-environmental-friendly vehicles that emit foul air
- Stop forest destruction and plant more trees
- Avoid use of harmful pesticides and encourage organic farming instead
- Regulate industries that pollute the air
- Control wildfires and avoid burning materials that pollute the air
The ozone layer is very important to all inhabitants of the earth. It is therefore incumbent upon us to find ways and means to preserve it for our own benefit and for the next generations.