www.whyville.net Nov 14, 2004 Weekly Issue

Guest Writer

The Bad Part of Ozone

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Ozone is a gas composed of three atoms of oxygen stuck together. Ozone is O3 like water is H2O. Ozone absorbs UV-B rays, or ultraviolet radiation, which is EXTREMELY dangerous to people and animals. (Actually, ozone is deadly to breathe, too, but it breaks up quickly on the surface of the earth.)

Because of the hole in the ozone layer over Antarctica and the fact that the layer is thinning all over the world, many people are getting skin cancer from the UV-B rays. Unfortunately, many people still don't wear sunscreen and others don't have the resources to get sunscreen and help protect themselves.

We definitely have to worry about ozone. Cars, boats, trains, factories, and natural forms of pollution, like volcanoes, create chemicals that float up to the troposphere and destroy ozone.

And then there's the phenomenon we've all heard of, global warming. Global warming is caused by a buildup of a mix of gases in the atmosphere that let the sun's rays come down to the earth and then not escape.

The thing about global warming is that it's not just a rise in temperature worldwide. It can also mean lower temperatures in some places, more rain, or drought in different areas of the world. Also, people are worried about the polar caps melting. (But if you ask me, an average rise of 1.8 degrees worldwide is not going to melt eons old ice that still lives in about -50 degree weather most of the year for quite some time.)

People all over the world are doing their part but we can't expect the ozone layer to repair itsself when we are creating more problems down here.

Author's Note: Most of my information was found at this site and in my science book from school http://www.epa.gov/ozone/defns.html. I'd love to hear your opinion in the BBS!

Editor's Note: According to a project I did in the 8th grade, you don't need to melt much ice to devastate a few major cities -- if the oceans went up by just 10 feet, most of Florida would go underwater, Manhattan Island would be flooded, and cities across the globe (like Cairo, I think) would have severe problems keeping the water out!


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