OZONE

 

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JUST LIKE A GLASS BOWL - Radiation from the sun would be reflected out into space, but with more greenhouse gases in the atmosphere some radiated heat is absorbed and re-emitted back to earth just as if we lived in a greenhouse.

 

 

Ozone was present at ground level before the Industrial Revolution, peak concentrations are now far higher than the pre-industrial levels, and even background concentrations well away from sources of pollution are substantially higher. Ozone acts as a greenhouse gas, absorbing some of the infrared energy emitted by the earth. Quantifying the greenhouse gas potency of ozone is difficult because it is not present in uniform concentrations across the globe. However, the most widely accepted scientific assessments relating to climate change (e.g. the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Third Assessment Report) suggest that the radiative forcing of tropospheric ozone is about 25% that of carbon dioxide.

The annual global warming potential of tropospheric ozone is between 9181022 tons carbon dioxide equivalent/tons tropospheric ozone. This means on a per-molecule basis, ozone in the troposphere has a radiative forcing effect roughly 1,000 times as strong as carbon dioxide. However, tropospheric ozone is a short-lived greenhouse gas, which decays in the atmosphere much more quickly than carbon dioxide.

 

 

 

 

This means that over a 20-year span, the global warming potential of tropospheric ozone is much less, roughly 62 to 69 tons carbon dioxide equivalent / ton tropospheric ozone.

Because of its short-lived nature, tropospheric ozone does not have strong global effects, but has very strong radiative forcing effects on regional scales. In fact, there are regions of the world where tropospheric ozone has a radiative forcing up to 150% of carbon dioxide.

 

By far the biggest contributor to global warming after water vapour, is Carbon Dioxide. We cannot do much about water vapour where around 71% of the Earth's surface is water. But, the rate of evaporation is dependent on temperature, hence the other gases that contribute to the glass-like bubble we live in are very important.

 

The major greenhouse gases are water vapour, which causes about 3670% of the greenhouse effect; carbon dioxide (CO2), which causes 926%; methane (CH4), which causes 49%; nitrous oxide (N2O) that accounts for about 5.6 percent of greenhouse gas emissions from human activities and ozone (O3), which causes 37%.

 

 

Frog syndrome, boiling to death instead of taking action

 

 

Ozone in the ozone layer filters out sunlight wavelengths from about 200 nm UV rays to 315 nm, with ozone peak absorption at about 250 nm. This ozone UV absorption is important to life, since it extends the absorption of UV by ordinary oxygen and nitrogen in air (which absorb all wavelengths < 200 nm) through the lower UV-C (200280 nm) and the entire UV-B band (280315 nm).

 

The small unabsorbed part that remains of UV-B after passage through ozone causes sunburn in humans, and direct DNA damage in living tissues in both plants and animals. Ozone's effect on mid-range UV-B rays is illustrated by its effect on UV-B at 290 nm, which has a radiation intensity 350 million times as powerful at the top of the atmosphere as at the surface. Nevertheless, enough of UV-B radiation at similar frequency reaches the ground to cause some sunburn, and these same wavelengths are also among those responsible for the production of vitamin D in humans.

The ozone layer has little effect on the longer UV wavelengths called UV-A (315400 nm), but this radiation does not cause sunburn or direct DNA damage, and while it probably does cause long-term skin damage in certain humans, it is not as dangerous to plants and to the health of surface-dwelling organisms on Earth in general.

 

Ozone has been shown to affect the respiratory, cardiovascular and central nervous system. Early death and problems in reproductive health and development are also shown to be associated with ozone exposure. 

 

 

 

THE CAUSES IN SECTORS - Transportation and energy for living are the main causes of greenhouse gas build up in the atmosphere as carbon dioxide and nitrous oxides, with agriculture loading us with methane and more nitrous oxides. Hence, we need to revise our eating habits and switch to renewable energy for our cars and industry as quickly as possible.

 

 

AIR POLLUTION

 

Ozone precursors are a group of pollutants, predominantly those emitted during the combustion of fossil fuels. Ground-level ozone pollution (tropospheric ozone) is created near the Earth's surface by the action of daylight UV rays on these precursors. The ozone at ground level is primarily from fossil fuel precursors, but methane is a natural precursor, and the very low natural background level of ozone at ground level is considered safe.

Long-term exposure to ozone has been shown to increase risk of death from respiratory illness. A study of 450,000 people living in United States cities saw a significant correlation between ozone levels and respiratory illness over the 18-year follow-up period. The study revealed that people living in cities with high ozone levels, such as Houston or Los Angeles, had an over 30% increased risk of dying from lung disease.

Air quality guidelines such as those from the World Health Organization, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the European Union are based on detailed studies designed to identify the levels that can cause measurable ill health effects.

Ozone is a powerful oxidant (far more so than dioxygen) and has many industrial and consumer applications related to oxidation. This same high oxidising potential, however, causes ozone to damage mucous and respiratory tissues in animals, and also tissues in plants, above concentrations of about 0.1 ppm. While this makes ozone a potent respiratory hazard and pollutant near ground level, a higher concentration in the ozone layer (from two to eight ppm) is beneficial, preventing damaging UV light from reaching the Earth's surface.

 

 

GREENHOUSE GASES

 

The greenhouse effect is the process by which absorption and emission of infrared radiation by gases in a planet's atmosphere, warm its lower atmosphere and surface, to include warming the oceans and melting the ice caps.

 

 

LINKS & REFERENCE

 

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There is no Planet B

 

 

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 This website is provided on a free basis as a public information service. copyright Climate Change Trust 2019. Solar Studios, BN271RF, United Kingdom.

 

 

 

 

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