WORLD OZONE DAY 2020: Ozone for Life!
THE OZONE LAYER. A topic we’ve been studying in geography right from elementary school.
Let us up quickly catch up on what the ozone layer is, before we dive into our topic, World Ozone Day!
What is the ozone layer?
The ozone layer is a fragile shield of gas that protects the Earth from the harmful portion of the rays of the sun i.e., ultraviolet radiation, thus helping preserve life on the planet.
Life on Earth would not be possible without sunlight. But the energy emanating from the sun would be too much for life on Earth to thrive were it not for the ozone layer. This stratospheric layer shields Earth from most of the sun’s harmful ultraviolet radiation.
The ozone layer is mainly found in the lower portion of the stratosphere, from approximately 15 to 35 kilometers (9.3 to 21.7 mi) above the Earth, although its thickness varies seasonally and geographically.
Industries that manufacture goods like insulating foams, solvents, soaps, cooling things like Air Conditioners, Refrigerators and ‘Take-Away’ containers use something called chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). These substances are heavier than air, but over time, (2-5 years) they are carried high into the stratosphere by wind action and cause depletion of ozone.
Now that we have a fair idea, let’s get on with our topic, World Ozone Day!
World Ozone Day 2020 or International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer 2020 is celebrated every year on 16 September. This year, we are celebrating 35 years of the Vienna Convention and 35 years of global ozone layer protection. The day is observed to spread awareness about ways that are effective in protecting the ozone layer.
What is the theme of World Ozone Day 2020?
The theme of World Ozone Day 2020 is ‘Ozone for Life: 35 years of ozone layer protection’ According to UN Environment, “collective decisions and action, guided by science, are the only way to solve major global crises.” The theme this year reminds us that not only ozone is important for life on Earth, but also acts as a reminder that we need to protect the ozone layer for our future generations as well.
Avoid the consumption of gases dangerous to the ozone layer, due to their content or manufacturing process. Some of the most dangerous gases are CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons), halogenated hydrocarbon, methyl bromide and nitrous oxide.
Minimize the use of cars. The best transport option is urban, bicycle, or walking. If you use a car to a destination, try to carpool with others to decrease the use of cars in order to pollute less and save.
Do not use cleaning products that are harmful to the environment and to us. Many cleaning products contain solvents and substances corrosive, but you can replace these dangerous substances with non-toxic products such as vinegar or bicarbonate.
Buy local products. In this way, you not only get fresh products but you avoid consuming food that has traveled long distances. As the more distance traveled, the more nitrous oxide is produced due to the medium used to transport that product.
Maintain air conditioners, as their malfunctions cause CFC to escape into the atmosphere.
Here are five facts about ozone and its depletion!
The culprits are CFC – chlorofluorocarbon and HCFC – hydro chlorofluorocarbon which are also greenhouse gases.
The “hole’ that was discovered in Antarctica was over 29 million square kilometers – larger than Russia and Canada combined!
CFC was being used in refrigerants and cooling units, fire extinguishers and aerosols.
Exposure to higher amounts of UV radiation can cause skin cancer, eye diseases and weaken the immune system of humans.
Global Ozone is expected to revert to its 1980 thickness in the next 55 years
LET US GO GREEN, GO GENIUS, STAMP THE CARBON, STAND TALL, AND STITCH THE OZONE LAYER.
Nachiketa S R