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Word Count: 520
The Ozone Layer is a region of the atmosphere from 19 to 48 km to above the earths surface The ozone forms there by the action of sunlight on oxygen This action has been taking place for many millions of years but naturally occurring nitrogen gas in the atmosphere apparently have kept the ozone concentration at a fairly stable level Concentrations this great at ground level are dangerous to breathe and can damage the lungs However because the ozone layer of the atmosphere protects life on earth from the full force of the suns cancer-causing ultraviolet radiation it is critically important There fore scientists were concerned when they discovered in the 1970s that chemicals called chlorofluorocarbons or CFCs posed a possible threat to the ozone layer Released into the atmosphere these chlorine-containing chemicals rise and are broken down by sunlight whereupon the chlorine reacts with and destroys ozone moleculesup to 100000 per CFC molecule For this reason the use of CFCs in aerosols has been banned in the United States and elsewhere Other chemicals such as bromine halocarbons as well as nitrous oxides from fertilizers may also attack the ozone layer Destruction of the ozone layer is predicted to cause increases in Skin Cancer and the loss of marine plant life which eventually leads up to the realease of more carbon Dioxide into our precious atmosphere Beginning in the early 1980s research scientists working in Antarctica detected a periodic loss of ozone in the atmosphere high above that continent The ozone hole a thinned region of the ozone layer develops in the Antarctic spring and continues for several months before thickening again Studies conducted with high-altitude balloons and weather satellites indicated that the overall percentage of ozone in the Antarctic ozone layer is declining The World Meteorological Organization observed a 45 percent depletion of the ozone layer over one-third of the northern hemisphere from Greenland to western Siberia for several days during
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