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Global Warming And The Ozone Layer

1943 words - 8 pages

The slowly disappearing ozone layer is extremely dangerous. NASA has announced that the Earth’s ozone layer was deteriorating at a quicker rate than anybody had anticipated (Cooper 291). In fact, according to Tim Flannery, “...the 1873 levels of ozone were roughly half of that today” (Flannery 214). Flannery also says that “Ozone makes up just ten molecules of every million in the ocean. Yet without the shielding effect of those ten in a million, we would soon go blind, contract cancer, and succumb to any number of other problems” (Flannery 21-22). Ozone is a type of oxygen (Flannery 215). The oxygen you breathe has two atoms of oxygen bonded together. (Flannery 215) However, in the ...view middle of the document...

Burning fossil fuels releases Carbon Dioxide (CO2) (Mastrandrea and Schneider 232). It is one of the many greenhouse gases that trap heat in the atmosphere, which then makes the earth’s surface warmer than it should be. (Mastrandrea and Schneider 232). Another greenhouse gas is chlorine monoxide (Cooper 291). Chlorine Monoxide is a chemical that depletes ozone, and is a part of a group of chemicals called chlorofluorocarbons, or CFCs (Cooper 291). Not only were there high concentrations of chlorine monoxide, but there was evidence of large amounts of another CFC, called bromine monoxide (Cooper 291). This chemical is even worse than chlorine monoxide (Cooper 291). CFCs come from refrigerators, air conditioners, and propellants in aerosol spray (Cooper 291). When they are in the atmosphere, they go upward until they reach the stratosphere, where the ozone layer is (Cooper 291). Although CFCs do nothing when they are in their molecular form, strong ultraviolet radiation can split the molecule apart, resulting in the release of chorine monoxide which starts the chemical reactions that destroy ozone (Cooper 291). Along with high levels of these chemicals, NASA has also found that nitrogen oxides, chemicals that run ozone-destroying chemicals into compounds that don’t affect ozone, are at a reduced level (Cooper 291). CFCs are the worst of the greenhouse gases (Cooper 291). They keep more heat and affects global temperatures by more than 20,000 times that of carbon dioxide (Cooper 291). If CFCs were stopped being released into the atmosphere, then they would continue destroying the ozone layer for more than 100 years (Cooper 292). That amount of time is also approximately the time in which the ozone layer would build itself back up (Cooper 292). As you can see, CFCs are extremely dangerous to the ozone layer, and we should, by all means, try to stop the copious amounts of CFCs being released into the atmosphere, and protect our very important ozone layer.

Global warming is a dangerous occurrence that will cause many negative things to the Earth and it’s inhabitants. Global warming is the elevation of the average temperature of the Earth's surface (Mastrandrea and Schneider 232). This occurrence is definitely happening right now. Out of the top 20 hottest years, 19 happened in the 1980s or later (“Global Warming The Tipping Point” 28+). The average temperature on the Earth's surface has elevated from 0.7 F to 14 F (Mastrandrea and Schneider 232). Even global ocean temperature has increased by .10 C between the years of 1961 and 2003 (Effects of Global Warming n.pag.). Plus, the increase in temperature caused by greenhouse gases could increase the number of category 5 hurricanes (“Effects of Global Warming” n.pag.). In fact, the rising temperature of the oceans has caused the percentage of Category 4 and Category 5 hurricanes to double “(Global Warming The Tipping Point” 28+). Evidence of the increasing temperature is evident everywhere. Russia...

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