What is Ozone Depletion?

August 11, 2016

Ozone Depletion is the steady thinning of the Earth’s ozone layer in the stratosphere. The ozone layer is necessary for shielding the Earth from the extra ultraviolet B radiation. While ozone depletion occurs on a seasonal basis, the release of Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) has caused the ozone layer to deplete in larger amounts, allowing ultraviolet B to enter the Earth, which has been linked to higher rates of skin cancer, cataracts, plant damage, and reduction of plankton in bodies of water.

The theory of ozone depletion was first put forward by American scientists Mario Molina and F. Sherwood Rowland in 1974. Molina and Rowland were able to show from their research that ozone levels were stable until the late 1970s when it is believed the build-up of CFCs began to remove more ozone than was being recovered, becoming more noticeable globally by the early 1980s.

Other Sources

Government of Canada. “Depletion of the Ozone Layer.” Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change Canada. https://ec.gc.ca/ozone/default.asp?lang=En&n=2ED3F6DA-1. Accessed August 11, 2016.

National Geographic Society. “Ozone Depletion.” National Geographic. http://environment.nationalgeographic.com/environment/global-warming/ozone-depletion-overview/. Accessed August 11, 2016.