Thu, 15 Sep 2022 05:25 PM IST
World Ozone Day is observed every year on September 16 to spread awareness among people concerning the depletion of the ozone layer and find possible solutions to preserve it. The ozone layer serves as a kind of shield for the planet and is crucial for preserving its ecology. In 1994, the United Nations General Assembly announced September 16 as the International day for the preservation of the ozone layer 2022 in order to spread awareness and vigilance regarding the protection of the ozone layer.
The ozone layer or ozone shield is mainly found in the lower position of the earth's stratosphere which absorbs the sun's 97 to 99 per cent of medium-frequency radiation.
The theme of World Ozone Day 2022 is 'Global Cooperation to Protect Life on Earth to encourage sustainable development. In 2021, the theme for World Ozone Day was 'Montreal Protocol-Keeping us, our food and vaccines cool.'
When was the first ozone hole discovered
In 1985, a junior researcher of the British Antarctic Survey (BAS), Jonathan Shanklin discovered a hole in the invisible shield that protects us from solar radiation. An independent team of scientists confirmed the finding. Satellites showed that the ozone hole extended over a huge region of 20 million square kilometres. The research led to the 1987 Monreal protocol which was an agreement to forbade the production and consumption of ozone-depletion substances at the current rates. This ozone hole is known as the Antarctic Ozone Hole, in which the recent ozone levels have decreased to as low as 33 percent of their pre-1975 values.
The reason for the development of the ozone hole includes the pollution in the atmosphere with chemicals containing chlorine and bromine. The ozone layer is immensely important for life on earth because it has the property of absorbing the most damaging form of UV radiation, UV-B radiation which has a wavelength of between 280 and 315 nanometres. As the UV radiation gets absorbed by the ozone in the stratosphere, it heats up the surrounding air to generate the stratospheric temperature inversion.