Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Why Has the Ozone Layer Continued to Deplete?

I've taken an eight-week break from blogging.  It's been the first long break since I began the blog in 2010.  The absence is owed not to having little to write about, but rather to having so little time to write it in.

Today, I'd like to write about an often misunderstood phenomenon: ozone layer depletion.

In my experience, the public at large believes that climate change and ozone layer depletion are very much connected, when in fact, the two are independent threats to life as we know it on Earth. 

Climate change, a.k.a. global warming, is a gradual increase in the average temperature of Earth's atmosphere brought about by the greenhouse effect, whereby certain gases, like carbon dioxide and methane, trap heat in the atmosphere.  Global warming is a much larger problem than ozone layer depletion as it can set off a multitude of other changes to our biosphere and it will be far more difficult to avoid.  It is in many ways the grim story of the 20th century that will inevitably haunt the 21st.

The fact that ozone layer depletion will not haunt us too badly in the 21st century and beyond is truly a success story.  It is a rare example where mankind acted responsibly as a species for our own preservation.