Ozone, , is a molecule consisting of three oxygen atoms. Depending on where it is found environmentally it can have either a good or a bad effect...
- Bad - ozone near the Earth's surface in the troposphere is an air pollutant which affects the respiratory system of animals
- Good - ozone in the upper atmosphere in the stratosphere protects living organisms by preventing harmful ultraviolet light from reaching the Earth's surface.
The ozone layer
The ozone layer is found in the region of the atmosphere called the stratosphere, about 10-50 km above Earth's surface. Ultraviolet radiation from the Sun has wavelengths in the range 270-400 nm. The ozonelayer filterds out the shorter wavelengths which are very damaging to life. The ozone layer converts this ultraviolet radiation into heat and so te ozone layer is at a higher temperature than other parts of the upper atmosphere.
Dobson created a basic spectrophometer to measure stratospheric ozone from the ground. Ozone concentration is measured in units called Dobsons.
The ozone-oxygen cycle
Ozone is continuosly being formed and broken down in the stratosphere by UV radiation, which has three different types, based on the wavelength of the radiation:
- UV-a (320-400 nm) - reaches the Earth's surface. Has energy than the shorter wavelengths and is not…