All About Ozone Layer- Day, What Is It, and Importance of the Ozone Layer
We generally listen to the ozone layer. However, not all people know what is it. We need to understand the importance of the ozone layer and how we can prevent it.
As it is familiar, September 16 was the date nominate as the international day for showing care about the ozone layer.
The United Nations General Assembly designated this date. Ozone shields act as a protecting layer for earth from the sun’s ultraviolet radiation. This is the base of the stratosphere, covering 15 to 35 km above from earth.
The thickness of the ozone layer keeps changing season and geographical location. It absorbs about 99% of ultraviolet light ranging from 200nm to 315nm wavelength. These coming UV rays could damage the exposed life.
The fact is that a hole was observed in the ozone layer after thirty years of the signed protocol. After observing this, the UN General Assembly decides 16 September as a day for the preservation of the ozone layer. The gases are so harmful that their effect continues for 50 to 100 years.
To prevent our ozone layer, it is important to understand what is it and how to make people aware of its importance. Thus a day is celebrated every year to make people understand its importance. Understand What is the Ozone layer and its importance to celebrate below.
What is the ozone layer?
The chemical formula for ozone is O3. It is produced by combining oxygen molecules (O2) with oxygen atom ( O). It is also known as trioxygen. It is an inorganic molecule. The color of the gas is pale blue. As compared to other gases in the atmosphere, ozone is present in small quantities.
In 1913, this layer was discovered by Charles Fabry and Henri Buisson. They both were French physicists. G.M. B. Dobson(the British meteorologist) developed a spectrophotometer. A spectrophotometer is also known as the Dobsonmeter. This instrument helps to measure the stratospheric ozone layer from the ground. Even today, we use the worldwide network; which was established around 1928.
What is ozone depletion?
Given knowledge by the scientist, it is clear that ozone depletion is due to chlorine and bromine. These atoms are so dangerous that they can destroy over 100,000 molecules of ozone in the stratosphere.
The teardown rate of ozone is more than it is created naturally. Many compounds release chlorine or bromine. And when they are disclosed to intense UV light in the stratosphere.
These become the main reason for ozone depletion. These substances are stable and do not dissolve in the rain, due to their stability, from the atmosphere. There is no natural process found yet to remove them. Such substances are known as ozone-depleting substances (0DS).
Halons and methyl bromide are the substances that produced bromine. Some elements are discharged at the earth’s surface, but that’s the slow process which takes 5-6 years. This OSD is increasing day by day as new instruments/technologies are developed that use OSD.
For example, these are used in refrigeration, fire suppression, foam insulation, and others.
The research found that some chlorine and bromine sources do not contribute to ozone depletion. They found that chlorine that is released from industrial plants, sea salt, swimming pools, and volcanoes, is not capable of reaching the stratosphere.
Around 1980, the annual ozone ‘’hole’’ over Antarctica was found during the Antarctic spring. The amount of ozone present in the stratosphere above Antarctica is low, not a hole exactly. Not only this area but some latitudes like North America, Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, South America.
What is World Ozone Day?
Now after getting detailed information about ozone depletion in the above paragraph. They become the reason for cancer and other negative effects like sunburn, permanent blindness, cataracts, skin cancer, and genetic and immune system damage.
This not only affects human beings but animals and plants. In 1987, it was decided to adopt the Montreal Protocol. It took two years to come into effect in 1989. Due to this ban, the ozone level stabilized around the mid-1990s. And good recovery is seen around the 2000s.
And according to the current NASA report, it is clear that they found a fall in the average hole. In this protocol, around 197 countries signed and agreed to ban the substance that harms or deplete the ozone layer. And September 16 is granted as world ozone day.
What is the theme of World Ozone Day?
The theme is 32 years and healing for 2020 world ozone day. On this World Ozone Day, we can celebrate hard work and dedication/ care that is put on to protect the ozone layer.
These efforts also help us to regulate climate change by deleting 135 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide from 1990 to 2010.
These precautions should keep on working, and this healing process should not be stopped.
What are our duties in protecting the ozone layer?
Earth is home for all human beings, plants, and animals. We must care about the earth if we care about our safety. Followings are some points that all should follow:
- The body should be covered while excessive sun exposure to protect yourself from ozone layer depletion.
- Applications like refrigerators and other equipment which realize CFCs gas should be handled with care to minimize ozone layer impact.
What is the importance of Ozone Day?
As it is very important to learn from mistakes if today, some mistakes are made, we must educate the future generation or the general public about the issues of concern to mobilize political will and call to arms to address big global problems.
And ozone depletion is the topic of great concern as it can harm the whole existing life on this planet. The importance of ozone day is to educate people or to celebrate and reinforce the achievements of humanity.
How do we celebrate Ozone Day?
We can celebrate the ozone day by simply organizing activities that are related to the theme of the day. Organization and offices of the United Nations system, governments, civil society, each public and private sector including school, universities celebrate world ozone day.
Different types of competitions like posters/ slogans, speeches are organized among different levels. The main purpose of these competitions is to bring awareness for the preservation of the ozone layer.
What are the steps that are taken by the Indian Government in concern of ozone day?
It is known that the UN General Assembly on 23/01/95 adopted a resolution under the 49/114 which mentioned celebrating it as World Ozone Day. September 16 is celebrated as an international day. Every country has its methods of celebrating this day.
In India, a book is published with the title of ‘’the Montreal Protocol: India’s Success Story’’. In which the various initiatives are mentioned that are taken by the government to fulfill the obligation of the Montreal Protocol.
Stickers are distributed to industrial people, government offices, students for public awareness. Various posters of different sizes can be seen in the local area.
Telecasting of video film on Montreal protocol on national television channels like Doordarshan
How can we protect the ozone layer?
We can protect the ozone layer by following the given below measures:
- Reduce the use of cars– public transportation is used instead of a private or personal car. If moving in the car is mandatory, then try to carpool with others to decrease pollution. Walking and bicycling are the best options.
- Avoid such cleaning products that are harmful to the environment- try to replace cleaning products that contain solvents. Use non-toxic substances like vinegar or bicarbonate.
- Purchase local products – instead of traveling to another city, try to purchase local products. One benefit is that the fresh product is consumed.
- Try to maintain your air conditioners as they cause CFC properly.
- Avoid such gases (CFCs, halogenated hydrocarbon, methyl bromide, nitrous oxide) that are the cause of ozone depletion.
There is no doubt that there are improvements in the healing process of the ozone layer. But the problem of ozone depletion is not solved completely. This topic deserves extensive research and attention. With the realisation of ODS, the ozone layer is depleted. The only solution to this problem is to avoid CFCs releasing substance in excess. So, let’s come and join hands together to celebrate the special day to let people understand about it.