61. Mains Question- Nov 03, 2018
What is Ozone hole? Explain its formation. (200 words)
- Theme of the question: Ozone hole and its formation
- Fact based question.
- First part of your answer should be involved in explain what a ozone hole is and the second part, factor aiding in its formation
- The ozone “hole” is really a reduction in concentrations of ozone high above the earth in the stratosphere. The ozone hole is defined geographically as the area wherein the total ozone amount is less than 220 Dobson Units. The ozone hole has steadily grown in size (up to 27 million sq. km.) and length of existence (from August through early December) over the past two decades.
- Formation of ozone holes: Each spring in the stratosphere over Antarctica (Spring in the southern hemisphere is from September through November.), atmospheric ozone is rapidly destroyed by chemical processes. As winter arrives, a vortex of winds develops around the pole and isolates the polar stratosphere. When temperatures drop below -78°C (-109°F), thin clouds form of ice, nitric acid, and sulphuric acid mixtures. Chemical reactions on the surfaces of ice crystals in the clouds release active forms of CFCs. Ozone depletion begins, and the ozone “hole” appears. Over the course of two to three months, approximately 50% of the total column amount of ozone in the atmosphere disappears. At some levels, the losses approach 90%. This has come to be called the Antarctic ozone hole.