The Ozone Layer

  • Dramatic loss of ozone in the lower stratosphere over Antarctica was first noticed in the 1970s by a research group from the British Antarctic Survey (BAS)

  • Over Antarctica (and recently over the Arctic), stratospheric ozone has been depleted over the last 15 years at certain times of the year.

  • The British Antarctic Survey's first documentation of the Antarctic ozone hole

  • The Dobson Unit (DU) is the unit of measure for total ozone.

  • The ozone is created when ultraviolet radiation (sunlight) strikes the stratosphere, dissociating (or "splitting") oxygen molecules (O2) to atomic oxygen (O).

  • The atomic oxygen quickly combines with further oxygen molecules to form ozone:

  • Ozone is also destroyed by the following reaction: O + O3 ->O2 + O2

  • NSF-funded study of the phenomenon alerted the world to the danger of chlorofluorocarbons, or CFCs.