Ozone Layer Facts



  • Life on Earth depends on the layer of ozone gas in the air (see atmosphere), which shields the Earth from the Sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays. Ozone molecules are made from three atoms of oxygen, not two like oxygen.
  • In 1982 scientists in Antarctica noticed a 50 percent loss of ozone over the Antarctic every spring. This finding was confirmed in 1985 by the Nimbus-7 satellite.
  • The ozone hole is a patch where the ozone layer becomes very thin.
  • The ozone hole appears over Antarctica every spring.
  • The ozone hole is monitored all the time by the TOMS (Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer) satellite.
  • The loss of ozone is caused by manufactured gases, notably chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), which drift up through the air and combine with the ozone.
  • CFCs are used in many things, from refrigerators and aerosol sprays to forming the foam for fast-food cartons.
  • CFCs were banned in 1996, but it may be at least 100 years before the ban takes effect. The hole is still growing.
  • UV rays from the Sun come in three kinds: UVA, UVB and UVC. Both oxygen and ozone soak up UVA and UVC rays, but only ozone absorbs UVB. For every
  • Meteorologists predict the world temperature will rise between 2 and 4°C by 2030 unless we 1 percent loss of ozone, 1 percent more UVB rays reach the Earth’s surface.