The destruction of the ozone layer

The destruction or thinning of the ozone layer is the decrease in the amount of ozone in the earth’s stratosphere. It is produced, mainly, by the release of chlorine and bromine atoms, which are the ones that destroy ozone.

Ozone is extremely scarce in the atmosphere. Its presence in the lower layers is harmful due to its oxidizing effects. However, 90% of this gas is concentrated in the upper layers of the atmosphere, where its presence is vital for the development of life, since it completely filters ultraviolet C radiation and a large part of B. Radiation that causes cancer of skin and cataracts, among other diseases and that also cause decreases in plant, plankton and fishing production.

Ozone is continually being formed and destroyed in the stratosphere, maintaining what is called a dynamic equilibrium. However, the Chlorine and Bromine released at these altitudes due to the photolysis of certain halogenated hydrocarbons produced by man, act as catalysts, destroying more ozone than is formed, lowering its concentration.

Starting in the 1980s, the concentration of stratospheric ozone over Antarctica decreased and people began to talk about a hole in the ozone layer.