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Ozone Layer Depletion - Stratospheric Ozone, The Importance Of Stratospheric Ozone, Stratosphere And Chlorofluorocarbons

Science EncyclopediaScience & Philosophy: Overdamped to Peat

Ozone is a gas that occurs naturally in relatively large concentrations in the upper-atmospheric layer known as the stratosphere. The stratosphere is between 5–10.6 mi (8–17 km) to about 31 mi (50 km) above the earth's surface. Stratospheric ozone is very important to life on the surface of Earth because it absorbs much of the incoming solar ultraviolet radiation, and thereby shields organisms from its deleterious effects. Since the mid-1980s, there has been evidence that concentrations of stratospheric ozone are diminishing as a result of complex photochemical reactions involving chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). These persistent chemicals are synthesized by humans and then emitted to the lower atmosphere, from where they eventually reach the stratosphere and deplete ozone.

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