Saving the Ozone Layer
The ozone layer is a part of the stratosphere where the concentration of ozone is relatively high. The ozone layer filters out the highest energy ultraviolet radiation, UV-c, entirely, and lessens the amount of UV-b and UV-a that gets through.
Why It Matters
- Rowland and Molina wrote a paper in 1975 that showed that CFCs would travel up to the ozone layer and destroy it.
- Scientists thought that ozone loss would be gradual and worldwide, but a paper by Farman released data that Antarctic spring was the worst time for ozone.
- The nations of the world came together to pass the Montreal Protocol, which protected the ozone layer from CFCs and other ozone destroying chemicals.
- The largest Antarctic ozone hole was in September, 2006.
With the link below, learn more about the Montreal Protocol. Then answer the following questions.
- NASA, A Look Back at the Montreal Protocol (video): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ezl0ky45CQ
- Why don’t CFCs break up until they are above the ozone layer?
- What was the problem scientists had in convincing people that ozone destruction was a big problem early on?
- What were the sources of data that showed ozone loss was happening? What did they all show?
- Why was the participation of DuPont crucial to the process of regulating ozone-destroying chemicals?
- What is needed for science to convince policymakers and corporations that action must be taken to make a major change?
- What was needed for government and industry to work together to create and support the Montreal Protocol?
- How can the experience of drafting and passing the Montreal Protocol be recreated for climate change?