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Stratospheric Ozone Depletion

  • By: Segun Ogunjemiyo
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

Ozone, denoted chemically as O3, is a relatively unstable gas with each molecule containing three atoms of oxygen. In a thermally stratified atmosphere, ozone occurs in the lowest two layers, the troposphere and the stratosphere, where it performs different roles. In the stratosphere, ozone occurs in large amounts over a deep vertical extent, forming the ozone layer. Stratospheric ozone is sometimes called “good ozone” because it absorbs some of the potentially harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun, which can cause skin cancer and can damage vegetation, among other things. Ozone in the troposphere, particularly near the surface, is a secondary air pollutant, which, as a principal component of photochemical smog, is known to have adverse effects on the environment and human health. Stratospheric ozone ...

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