Ozone (O3) is a highly reactive gas composed of three oxygen atoms. It is both a natural and a man-made product that occurs in the Earth's upper atmosphere. (the stratosphere) and lower atmosphere (the troposphere). Depending on where it is in the atmosphere, ozone affects life on Earth in either good or bad ways.
When inhaled, ozone can damage the lungs. Relatively low amounts of ozone can cause chest pain, coughing, shortness of breath and, throat irritation. It may also worsen chronic respiratory diseases such as asthma as well as compromise the ability of the body to fight respiratory infections.
Ozone is a molecule made up of three oxygen atoms, often referenced as O. Ozone is formed when heat and sunlight cause chemical reactions between oxides of nitrogen (NO ) and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC), which are also known as Hydrocarbons.
Ozone protects the Earth from harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays from the Sun. Without the Ozone layer in the atmosphere, life on Earth would be very difficult. Plants cannot live and grow in heavy ultraviolet radiation, nor can the planktons that serve as food for most of the ocean life.
Ozone Depletion. When chlorine and bromine atoms come into contact with ozone in the stratosphere, they destroy ozone molecules. One chlorine atom can destroy over 100,000 ozone molecules before it is removed from the stratosphere. Ozone can be destroyed more quickly than it is naturally created.
Ozone is technically a greenhouse gas, but ozone is helpful or harmful depending on where it is found in the earth's atmosphere.
What are the types of greenhouse gases?
Carbon dioxide (CO) makes up the vast majority of greenhouse gas emissions from the sector, but smaller amounts of methane (CH) and nitrous oxide (NO) are also emitted. These gases are released during the combustion of fossil fuels, such as coal, oil, and natural gas, to produce electricity.
A carbon footprint is the total amount of greenhouse gases (including carbon dioxide and methane) that are generated by our actions. The average carbon footprint for a person in the United States is 16 tons, one of the highest rates in the world. Globally, the average carbon footprint is closer to 4 tons.
Methane is more than 25 times as potent as carbon dioxide at trapping heat in the atmosphere. Over the last two centuries, methane concentrations in the atmosphere have more than doubled, largely due to human-related activities.
Scientists attribute the global warming trend observed since the mid-20 century to the human expansion of the "greenhouse effect" — warming that results when the atmosphere traps heat radiating from Earth toward space. Certain gases in the atmosphere block heat from escaping.
Earth has experienced cold periods (or “ice ages”) and warm periods (“interglacials”) on roughly 100,000-year cycles for at least the last 1 million years. The last of these ices ended around 20,000 years ago.
Along with amazing technological advances, the Industrial Revolution of the mid-19th century introduced new sources of air and water pollution. By the middle of the 20th century, the effects of these changes were beginning to be felt in countries around the world.
Those who deny the scientific evidence of human-caused global warming turned the slowdown into a slogan: “Global warming stopped in 1998.” In scientific journals and assessment reports, climate experts described the episode as a “pause” or “hiatus” in the previous decades' rapid warming: they knew it wouldn't last.
The highest temperature ever recorded on Earth was 136 Fahrenheit (58 Celsius) in the Libyan desert. The coldest temperature ever measured was -126 Fahrenheit (-88 Celsius) at Vostok Station in Antarctica.
Highlights. Earth's temperature has risen by 0.14° F (0.08° C) per decade since 1880, and the rate of warming over the past 40 years is more than twice that: 0.32° F (0.18° C) per decade since 1981. 2020 was the second-warmest year on record based on NOAA's temperature data, and land areas were record warm.
If nations make good on their latest promises to reduce emissions by 2030, the planet will warm by at least 2.7℃ this century, a report by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has found. This overshoots the crucial internationally agreed temperature rise of 1.5℃.
Four billion years from now, the increase in Earth's surface temperature will cause a runaway greenhouse effect, creating conditions more extreme than present-day Venus and heating Earth's surface enough to melt it. By that point, all life on Earth will be extinct.
The report published Monday found human activity 'unequivocally' responsible for raising global temperatures by about 1.1 degrees since the late 19th century. Factory emissions. Shutterstock.
How much, exactly, will greenhouse gases heat the planet? For more than 40 years, scientists have expressed the answer as a range of possible temperature increases, between 1.5 and 4.5 degrees Celsius, that will result from carbon dioxide levels doubling from preindustrial times.