How is ozone formed in the upper atmosphere? State its importance. What is responsible for its depletion? Write one harmful effect of ozone depletion.

In the stratosphere, ozone is produced naturally when high-energy solar radiation falls on the molecule of oxygen, O2, and results in the splitting of diatomic oxygen under the process of photolysis.

When the free oxygen radical collides with another O2 atom, it combines and forms ozone O3.

Ozone is formed through the following chemical reaction:

                                      O2 ----> O + O (radicals)

An oxygen radical merges with diatomic oxygen to form an ozone molecule.

                                     O2 + O -----> O3

Importance of Ozone:

The ozone layer protects us from the harmful effects of short wavelengths and hazardous ultraviolet radiation coming from the sun. Under the clear sky, there is an inverse relationship between the ozone layer and solar ultraviolet radiation measured on the Earth's surface. Lower ozone levels can lead to higher solar ultraviolet radiation.

Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) are responsible for the depletion of the ozone layer at the higher level of the atmosphere.

The harmful effects of ozone depletion are given below:
  1. It can lead to skin cancer in humans.
  2. It can lead to cataracts in humans.
  3. It can lead to damage to our immune system by lowering the body's resistance to diseases.
  4. It can lead to many diseases in animals.
  5. It can lead to damage to plants.


Simply Easy Learning

Updated on: 16-Jan-2023


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