ecomii - a better way
May 25, 2018  |  Login
Ozone is the form of oxygen made up of three oxygen atoms (O3) as opposed to the breathable form gaseous oxygen made up of two oxygen atoms (O2). Ozone is present in the Earth's atmosphere in both the troposphere and the stratosphere. In the troposphere, ozone acts as a greenhouse gas, and too much of it can be harmful to Earth's organisms. In the stratosphere, however, ozone forms the so-called ozone layer, which protects the Earth from UV radiation. The ozone layer is depleted by the emission of human-made chlorine and bromine compounds, for example, Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). In the 1970s scientists began calling attention to a growing hole in the ozone layer over the Antarctic. The hole in the ozone layer was a decrease of O3 that scientists said was due to human activities.
CFCs had been widely used in products such as aerosol sprays and refrigeration since they were first invented in the 1930s. With the help of conclusive scientific evidence as well as the development of economically viable alternatives, many countries, including the United States, began passing limits on the amount of CFCs allowed to be released into the atmosphere. In addition to domestic measures, the international community came together in 1987 under the United Nations Environment Programme and agreed to the Montreal Protocol. The Montreal Protocol limited the amount of CFCs and other ozone depleting substances emitted into the atmosphere and is the most successful piece of international environmental policy to date.  Today, scientists agree that the ozone hole has stopped growing and will begin to shrink within the next 50 years.

 Back to ecopedia main page

For More Information

Check out ecomii's guide to global warming.

Learn more about the Montreal Protocol.

ecomii featured poll

Vote for your Favorite Charity



ecomii resources
ecomii Tips Newsletter 

Sign up today to receive a weekly tip for living greener

Get in Touch

Got suggestions? Want to write for us? See something we could improve? Let us know!