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Global Warming and the Ozone Layer

  • Date Submitted: 04/02/2010 09:16 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 51.6 
  • Words: 1929
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The slowly disappearing ozone layer is extremely dangerous. NASA has announced that the Earth’s ozone layer was deteriorating at a quicker rate than anybody had anticipated (Cooper 291).   In fact, according to Tim Flannery, “...the 1873 levels of ozone were roughly half of that today” (Flannery 214). Flannery also says that “Ozone makes up just ten molecules of every million in the ocean. Yet without the shielding effect of those ten in a million, we would soon go blind, contract cancer, and succumb to any number of other problems” (Flannery 21-22). Ozone is a type of oxygen (Flannery 215). The oxygen you breathe has two atoms of oxygen bonded together. (Flannery 215) However, in the stratosphere, UV rays sometimes include an extraneous atom to join the two (Flannery 215). This produces ozone (Flannery 215). Oxygen and Ozone are a bit different. As Tim Flannery states, “Two-atom oxygen is able to block ultraviolet (UV) radiation that comes in wavelengths shorter than 0.28 microns, but ozone can block UV wavelengths between 0.28 and 0.32 microns. It shields us from around 95% of the UV radiation from reaching earth. Without very high sun-protection factor, ultraviolet radiation would kill you fast, by tearing apart you DNA and breaking other chemical bonds within your cell” (Flannery 215-216). UV radiation can also interfere with photosynthesis, reduce crop yields, and cause cataracts or other health problems in animals. It can also increase cancer cases and lip cancer. Furthermore, UV rays may also harm the immune system of a person. Even though sunscreen protects against skin problems, it doesn't protect the body against the immunosuppressive effects (Cooper 243). The ozone layer is extremely important. With the ozone layer depleting, and knowing the consequences of it, wouldn't it be worth it to stop it, along with global warming?
Part of the problem of the thinning of the ozone layer is the greenhouse effect, which is made worse by human activities...


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