How is ozone formed in the upper atmosphere? State its importance. What is responsible for its depletion? Write one harmful effect of ozone depletion.
Ozone is a gas found in the atmosphere consisting of three oxygen atoms (O3). Ozone is formed in the atmosphere when energetic ultraviolet (UV) radiation dissociates molecules of oxygen (O2) into separate oxygen atoms. Free oxygen atoms can recombine to form oxygen molecules but if a free oxygen atom collides with an oxygen molecule, it joins up, forming ozone.
It absorbs the UV radiation emitted from the Sun and prevents them from reaching the surface of the earth. It is depleted when chlorinated compounds reach the stratosphere and are split when exposed to the UV rays. The reactive chlorine then reacts with ozone and cause its break down into oxygen molecules.
This depletion results in exposure of the earth's surface to the UV rays causing skin cancer incidents and harms to the plants.
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- Ozone Layer Depletion