How is ozone formed in the higher level of atmosphere? “Damage to the ozone layer is a cause of concern”. Justify this statement.
The ozone layer is continuously formed in the atmosphere because of the action of UV rays on molecular oxygen. The high-energy UV radiations break down O2 molecules present in upper layers of the atmosphere into nascent oxygen.
Then, this free oxygen atom combines with an oxygen molecule to form ozone.
O + O2 → O3 (Ozone)
“Damage to the ozone is a cause of concern”, this is because ozone depletion has created an hole in the ozone layer over the Arctic region.
Damage in the ozone layer allows the harmful UV rays to reach the Earth surface. UV rays can cause:
- Skin cancer, ageing and corneal cataracts in human beings.
- Death of many phytoplankton leading to the increase in the rate of global warming.
- Increase in the global warming rate, in turn, leads to the melting of Arctic ice cap. This may further result in the increase in the sea level.
Thus, it is justified to say that damage to the ozone is a cause of concern.