The ozone layer is destroyed by chemical
reactions in the upper atmosphere. Ozone is
destroyed when it reacts with chlorine (Cl) or
bromine (Br). Chlorine and bromine get into the
atmosphere when humans use molecules called
chlorofluorocarbons (CFC, for short). We use CFC
molecules in many things such as air conditioners,
fire extinguishers, and hairspray canisters.
Every time we use these items, some CFC molecules
can travel into the atmosphere and destroy the
ozone layer. However, it is now against the law
to make CFC products.
The ozone layer in the upper atmosphere is
important because it protects us against radiation
from the sun. However, ozone can increase global
warming when it is in the lower atmosphere (near
the surface). Therefore, ozone is helpful when it
is higher in the atmosphere, but it is harmful
when it is in the lower atmosphere. Other gases
(like carbon-dioxide and methane) are more
effective for increasing the surface temperature
of the Earth than the disappearing ozone layer.
Click Here to return to the search form.