Strong Storms Threaten Ozone Layer Over U.S., Study Says

Sarah Perez

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/27/science/earth/strong-storms-threaten-ozone-layer-over-us-study-says.html?pagewanted=all

This article deals with the threat that violent summer thunderstorms pose to the ozone layer. The ozone layer is highly important to the functioning of our planet because it provides a buffer between life on earth and the sun’s rays. Although we rely on solar energy to power several of the appliances we use on a daily basis, the protection of the ozone layer is still needed to sustain life on Earth. The degradation of the ozone layer would mean increasing temperatures worldwide, aggravating climate change. Specifically, summer storms are damaging to the ozone layer because they often send water vapor many miles into the stratosphere, where it combines with CFC molecules and other harmful gases. Researchers have determined that storms send water vapor as far as twelve miles up into the stratosphere. CFCs, or chlorofluorocarbons, are extremely damaging to ozone layer, and legislation has been passed to cut back on CFC emissions. Scientists have concluded that the thinning out of the ozone layer during the summer months is even more harmful. Humans would be exposed to even more damaging UV rays in the summer months, increasing the risks of skin cancer and other disease.

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