Who Ate Up The Ozone?


What is ozone? Is it a fruit related to orange? Or a bone?

Well, it is none of the above.

The ozone is often referred to the layer of gas covering the atmosphere. It is helpful because it stops the dangerous ultraviolet light of the sun from reaching the Earth’s surface. While the warmth of sun is good for plants and animals the harmful ultraviolet light (UV rays) is not good for us. So this ozone layer protects us from bad rays like an umbrella protects us from the rain.

What happens if there are holes in your umbrella? All the water will seep in and you will be all wet. Similarly if the ozone layer has holes, the UV rays will travel to us through the holes and cause damage to our body. For some time we have known that air pollution damages the ozone layer. Now there is evidence that suggests that there is a gas released from our oceans that plays a role in damaging the ozone layer.

This gas from the oceans – iodide oxide – depletes the ozone layer specially over the oceans. Scientists have found out that iodide oxide reacts with ozone to produce hypo-iodous acid (HIO) and Iodine and the hypo-iodous acid again make iodide oxide that further damages the ozone layer. So now we know what is eating up the ozone over our oceans!

Did you know?

  • Iodine source in our oceans was first confirmed in 1970, when methyl iodide was discovered in there.
  • Iodine in our atmosphere is emitted mainly from phytoplanktons – which are super small plants found in the oceans. 

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