Link Between Climate Change and the Ozone Layer?

The majority of the ozone layer is found in the stratosphere, which is located 16 to 50km above the earth. The ozone layer acts as a shield, absorbing ultraviolet rays, or UV rays, from the Sun. Furthermore, the ozone layer also protects the surface of the earth from being affected by the sun’s harmful UV rays. Over the years, scientists have discovered that while a majority of the gases are not harmful to the ozone layer, however, some such as hydrofluorocarbons, can cause destruction of the ozone when it reaches the stratosphere because of the odd chemical reaction that occurs. The link between the ozone layer and climate change is that the same gases that are destroying the ozone are also greenhouse gases, which means that they will help advancing climate change.

According to the article, “While protecting the ozone layer, the Montreal Protocol also has cut in half the amount of greenhouse warming caused by ozone-destroying chemicals that would have occurred by 2010 had these substances continued to build unabated in Earth’s atmosphere, according to the study. The amount of warming that was avoided is equivalent to 7-12 years of rise in carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere.”

Figure 1.

Screen Shot 2014-10-01 at 12.37.57 AM

In my opinion, I think that this article is fascinating because I never knew that there was ever even a problem with the Earth’s ozone layer. It is interesting to see how the domino effect works, specifically in the case of the improvement of the destructive ozone gases also improving climate change. I don’t think that it is a coincidence that certain gases affect the environment in multiple harmful ways. Therefore, while reading this article, I felt like the data could be justified and it was very much so believable.

Sources:

http://research.noaa.gov/News/NewsArchive/LatestNews/TabId/684/ArtMID/1768/ArticleID/10741/Report-telltale-signs-that-ozone-layer-is-recovering-.aspx

http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/news/2007/ozone/

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