What is the Stratospheric Ozone Layer and Ozone Layer Depletion?
Most ozone is found in a layer more than 10 kilometers (6 miles) above the Earth. This stratospheric ozone layer prevents the Sun’s harmful, high-energy radiation from reaching Earth’s surface. Ozone in the stratosphere is constantly being created and destroyed by the action of light and photochemistry. The thickness of the ozone layer depends upon the balance of many different processes. The accumulation of chlorofluorocarbons and other ozone-depleting gases in the atmosphere as a result of human activities have altered this balance so that the ozone layer has become depleted. The depletion has been dramatic over certain regions of the globe since the 1980s, such as above Antarctica during September- October, but is less severe in other regions.