The terms ‘Ozone Depletion’ & ‘Ozone Hole’ came in radar from 1969 when a Dutch chemist Paul Crutzen published a paper on it. In this paper, he describes the affection to the Ozone layer by the catalytic cycle of Nitrogen Oxide. It is the global phenomenon in which the upper layer of the atmosphere is thinned by the releasing of compounds of chloride and bromide. This Ozone depletion allows the Ultraviolet radiation to expose on the earth’s surface. As a result Ozone depletion and Prevention Efforts has become the matters that most. Our ignorance towards it can cause us irreversible harm.
From August to November, this Ozone depletion becomes the greatest at the South pole of the earth. In early October, the Ozone layer completely disappears on the south pole. This cause a radial ring of Ozone emptiness called “Ozone Hole”. However, the Ozone depletion has less impact in the northern pole compared to the southern pole. After 1970, the world realized the seriousness of Ozone depletion and started the efforts towards its Prevention.
Effects on our body and environment
Ozone Depletion has impacted the whole ecosystem and food chain of the earth in various ways. It allows the Ultraviolet radiation to expose to the earth’s surface through the layer of its atmosphere. This causes several health problems to live creatures such as eye cataracts, skin cancers, and immune deficiency disorders. A research says that 10% thinning in the Ozone layer would lead to a 26% increase in chances of Non-melanoma skin cancers. Today, Ozone depletion is responsible for nearly 300,000 cases of Non-melanoma skin cancers and 2,000,000 cases of eye cataracts worldwide. Moreover, even the small increase in exposures of UV radiation cause damage to the developmental stages and reproduction capacity of fishes and other marine animals. That has led them to their population reduction. Not only humans but this UV radiation also affects the plant’s growth which results in a reduction of agricultural productivity.
When the world realized the criticality of Ozone depletion, the government bodies of different nations started to make efforts towards the prevention of this unwanted calamity. As a part of this, the Montreal Protocol is enacted in 1987 with the signed of 197 countries to restrict nearly 100 man-made chemicals which are responsible for Ozone depletion including CFC, used in earlier refrigeration devices. After the execution of the Montreal Protocol, the global consumption of Ozone-depleting substances has been reduced by around 98% and the Ozone layer started to heal itself. However, it takes about 50 years to recover completely as the ozone-depleting gases or substances remain in the atmosphere for many years and continues to the damaged ozone layer.
Relation with Climate change
The Chlorine and Bromine contained compositions are the main elements which causes Ozone depletion. Whereas on the other hand, climate change is concerned with Carbon dioxide, hydrocarbons, and other greenhouse gases. Co-incidentally, such gases as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) are Greenhouse gases. Moreover, they have a major role in the depletion of the Ozone layer too. Because of this, all countries agreed to add these gases to a list of controlled substances in the Montreal Protocol. Ultimately, the efforts towards the prevention of Ozone layer has directly helped to control climate change caused by greenhouse gases.