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Mysterious Chemical Damaging Ozone Layer

An+exaggerated+representation+of+global+warming%2Fif+the+ozone+layer+was+destroyed
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Mysterious Chemical Damaging Ozone Layer

An exaggerated representation of global warming/if the ozone layer was destroyed

An exaggerated representation of global warming/if the ozone layer was destroyed

via Pixabay

An exaggerated representation of global warming/if the ozone layer was destroyed

via Pixabay

via Pixabay

An exaggerated representation of global warming/if the ozone layer was destroyed

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Scientists have detected a rise of a dangerous chemical in the air that is known to damage the ozone layer in the Earth’s atmosphere. What’s intriguing these scientists is that this chemical was banned all around the world.  If the perpetrator isn’t found soon, the layer that protects the Earth from UV radiation might be destroyed, releasing harmful rays into the Earth. CFC, or chlorofluorocarbon, is a chemical that was used in making foam for couches, buildings, furniture, and in an aerosol for refrigerators. After the discovery of a hole in the ozone layer in the 1980s, the Montreal protocol globally banned the use of CFC.

There have been zero reports of the use of CFC-11 since 2007.  CFC-11 is the second most dangerous type of chemical. Stephen Montzka found the rise in CFC-11 levels at the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in Colorado. There was furniture made with CFC before the ban so CFC still gets leaked today out of destruction of old furniture and houses, but the levels of CFC has been going at a declining rate till 2013. After that, the decline abruptly slowed down but was detected in Greenland and the South Pole by scientists.

Scientists started by looking at the winds or other natural weathers that might be distributing CFC-11. But after looking at this data, they figured out that this had no role at all. Researchers then looked at whether the release of CFC from older materials could have doubled, as required to explain the data. They checked the rate of how many old buildings were demolished before the ban of CFC. “But we don’t know of any folks who are destroying buildings at a much more dramatic rate than they were before,” stated Montzka. Leaving them at a dead end once again. Lastly, the team of scientists considered whether the new CFC-11 was being produced in some other chemical manufacturing process. But later they ruled this out too, as the quantities involved are too high to be from a manufacturing process as a 25% rise in global emissions is due to CFC.

Scientists then came up with the conclusion that someone was making CFC. Montzka talked about how if the production of CFC was stopped now, the damage to the ozone layer would still be minor. However, if it still stays there could be as much as a 10-year delay in healing the ozone layer and maybe until the ozone layer is completely depleted.  Montzka stated, “The last option is a possibility as if the new CFC-11 is being used in foams, then only a small fraction will have made it to the atmosphere so far and more could leak out for many years into the future.” The Montreal Protocol in 2006 was meant to stop the emission of CFC-11 and hopefully whoever is doing this will stop.

 

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About the Writer
Tanay S., Reporter

Tanay S. is a 7th grader who currently attends Kraemer Middle School. His favorite subjects are Spanish and Math. Tanay likes Spanish because he enjoys...

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Mysterious Chemical Damaging Ozone Layer