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the Effect of chlorofluorocarbons on our ozone layer

Nikole St. George

March 22nd

If the manufacturing industry continues to produce products that expel chlorofluorocarbons, then our ozone layer is at continuous risk of opening completely within the next several decades.

Ozone Depletion: Chlorofluorocarbons are the main cause of ozone layer depletion. The molecules of chlorofluorocarbons in the stratosphere are broken down by ultraviolet radiations and release chlorine atoms. When chlorine and bromine atoms come into contact with ozone in the stratosphere, they destroy ozone molecules.

Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) are nonflammable, nontoxic chemicals containing atoms of carbon, chlorine, bromine, etc... They are used in the manufacturing of aerosol sprays, blowing agents for foams, and packing materials(Elkins, 2022). Although CFCs are safe to use in lower atmospheric levels, they undergo significant reactions as they progress toward the upper atmosphere. Once chlorine and bromine (to name a few) atoms come into contact with the stratosphere, they destroy ozone molecules. A single chlorine atom can destroy over 100,000 ozone molecules before being removed. Unfortunately, the Ozone layer is destroyed more quickly than naturally generated (Wachter, 2021). If you're unsure why the Ozone layer is so essential, the ozone layer absorbs/ filters a portion of radiation (UV rays) emitted by the sun. The portation it absorbs is called UVB (Ultraviolet B), which negatively affects Human Health, Plantlife, Marine ecosystems, and biogeochemical cycles. During the 1970s, concerns about ozone depletion rose, prompting several countries to ban chlorofluorocarbons, however, even today, products with Chlorofluorocarbons are continuously being produced at a rapidly growing pace (von der Leyen, 2022).

What data proves that my topic impacts the Earth's natural processes and its systems?

Because chlorofluorocarbons are slowly destroying our ozone layer, our Earth's surface/ ecosystems are highly vulnerable to the harmful rays (UVB) produced by the sun. Effect on Plants: UVB radiation affects the physiological and developmental processes of plants. UVB radiation has resulted in a decrease in photosynthetic efficiency (Wachter, 2022). Effect on Biogeochemical Cycles:The increase in UVB radiation can cause biogeochemical cycles to shift. Changes in biogeochemical cycles can affect greenhouse gas sources and sinks (Zepp, 2003).

How does the OZONE LAYER impact the natural processes of the Earth's Landmasses?

How does our compromised Ozone layer tribute to the negatively affecting the Earth's water and water systems?Effects on Marine ecosystems:UVB radiation affects enzymatic and other biochemical processes in several aquatic organisms. Phytoplankton productivity is limited to the euphotic zone, the upper layer of the water column with sufficient sunlight to support net productivity. Exposure to solar UVB radiation has reduced survival rates and motility. Additionally, because of the increasing temperature of lakes, rivers, and oceans, the warmer temperatures are causing drastic changes within these habitats. The thermal difference between the surface and deep waters is becoming more significant. This increase in thermal stratification makes the surface layers shallower, leading to more substantial barriers to the upward mixing of nutrients necessary for photosynthesis and leaving more exposure to higher levels of UV radiation to surface-dwelling organisms. In polar or alpine regions, the direction has caused decreases in the duration and amount of snow and ice cover on lakes and oceans(Hader & Williamson, 2015).

How does the OZONE Layer impact the natural processes on Earth's Water and Water Systems?

Because the Ozone layer is slowly depleting, this has left the Earth extremely exposed to UVB. One example of long-term consequences is how UVB rays cause damage at the molecular level- deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). DNA readily absorbs UVB radiation, which commonly changes the molecule's shape. Additionally, increased UVB radiation may alter the chemical composition of plant tissue, the photodegradation of dead plant matter, and the release of carbon monoxide. The damaged Ozone layer could result in reduced agricultural crop and forest yields, reduced growth and survivability of tree seedlings, and increased susceptibility to diseases and pests (Ramsey, 2020). UVB radiation has also been implicated as a contributor to global warming.

What are the Long-Term Consequences to the Earth due to THE OZONE Layers Depletion?

Scientists have demonstrated a direct reduction in phytoplankton production due to ozone depletion related to increases in UVB. UVB radiation has been found to cause damage to the early developmental stages of fish, shrimp, crabs, amphibians, and other marine animals. Because more UVB light is reaching more profound parts of the ocean, this has led to multiple instances of ecosystem destruction, such as our coral reefs. Coral bleaching occurs when coral becomes stressed due to the temperature change. Some substances dissolved in water help protect marine life; however, because of the overwhelming amount of UVB reaching the oceans, it has been problematic for these substances to shield ocean life (Greenspun, 2001).

How does the Depletion of the ozone layer impact the natural processes of earth's oceans?

The ozone layer has two effects on the temperature balance of the Earth. It absorbs UVB radiation and solar rays, which heats the stratosphere. It also absorbs infrared radiation from the Earth's surface, trapping the heat within the troposphere. The ozone layer is primarily effected within the lower stratosphere due to the human production of Chlorofluorocarbon compounds (like chlorine or bromine). These gasses/ combines have been a significant contributor to climate change. (UK AIR, 2020)

How does Ozone Depletion impact the natural processes of Earth's Atmosphere and systems?

Wachter, E. (2021, October 7). Basic Ozone Layer Science. United States Environmental Protection Agency. https://www.epa.gov/ozone-layer-protection/basic-ozone-layer-science#:~:text=Gaseous%20CFCs%20can%20deplete%20the,See%20Ozone%20Depleting%20Substance.Von der Leyen, U. (2021). Protecting the Ozone Layer. Climate Action. https://climate.ec.europa.eu/eu-action/protecting-ozone-layer_en#:~:text=The%20ozone%20layer%20filters%20out,crucial%20to%20life%20on%20Earth.Von der Leyen, U. (2021). Protecting the Ozone Layer. Climate Action. https://climate.ec.europa.eu/eu-action/protecting-ozone-layer_en#:~:text=The%20ozone%20layer%20filters%20out,crucial%20to%20life%20on%20Earth.Elkins, J. W. (2022). Chlorofluorocarbons. Global Monitoring Laboratory. https://gml.noaa.gov/hats/publictn/elkins/cfcs.html#:~:text=Chlorofluorocarbons%20(CFCs)%20are%20nontoxic%2C,as%20solvents%2C%20and%20as%20refrigerants.Elkins, J. W. (2022). Chlorofluorocarbons. Global Monitoring Laboratory. https://gml.noaa.gov/hats/publictn/elkins/cfcs.html#:~:text=Chlorofluorocarbons%20(CFCs)%20are%20nontoxic%2C,as%20solvents%2C%20and%20as%20refrigerants.Wachter, E. (2022, September 27). Health and Environmental Effects of Ozone Layer Depletion. United States Environmental Protection Agency. https://www.epa.gov/ozone-layer-protection/health-and-environmental-effects-ozone-layer-depletionZepp, R. G. (2003, January 2). Effects Of Ozone Layer Depletion. NEET UG. https://unacademy.com/content/neet-ug/study-material/chemistry/effects-of-ozone-layer-depletion/#:~:text=Effect%20on%20Biogeochemical%20Cycles,the%20global%20warming%20problem%20indirectly.Hader, D. G., & Williamson, C. E. (2015, January 14). Effects of UV radiation on aquatic ecosystems and interactions with other environmental factors. National Library of Medicine. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25388554/Ramsey, J. T. (2020, March 24). Ozone. Department of Health. https://www.tn.gov/health/cedep/environmental/environmental-health-topics/eht/ozone.html#:~:text=Ground%2Dlevel%20or%20%22bad%22%20ozone%20also%20damages%20vegetation%20and,stresses%20such%20as%20harsh%20weather.Greenspun, P. (2001, September 6). What Determines How Much Ultraviolet Radiation Reaches the Earth’s Surface? Earth Observatory. https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/features/UVB/uvb_radiation3.phpUK AIR(2020, December 31). Ozone Depletion and Climate Change. UK AIR; Air Information Resource. https://uk-air.defra.gov.uk/research/ozone-uv/moreinfo?view=deleption-climate-change#:~:text=Atmospheric%20ozone%20has%20two%20effects,trapping%20heat%20in%20the%20troposphere.