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Ozone layer

The ozone layer is the part of the Earth's atmosphere which contains relatively high concentrations of ozone (O3). "Relatively high" means a few parts per million - much higher than the concentrations in the lower atmosphere but still small compared to the main components of the atmosphere.

Although the concentration of ozone in the ozone layer is very small, it is vitally important to life because it absorbs biologically harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the Sun.

The "thickness" of the ozone layer - that is, the total amount of ozone in a column overhead - varies by a large factor worldwide, being in general smaller near the equator and larger as one moves towards the poles.

It also varies with season, being in general thicker during the spring and thinner during the autumn.

Note: This article excerpts material from the Wikipedia article "Ozone layer", which is released under the GNU Free Documentation License.

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last updated on 2014-09-18 at 1:56 am EDT

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Deutsche Welle (May 27, 2013) The damage caused by chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) came to light in the 1980s when scientists discovered a huge hole in the ozone layer. Since the ban on CFCs came into effect, the ozone layer has been recovering, but only very slowly. CFCs released from aerosol cans, refrigerators and air conditioning systems continue to damage layers of the stratosphere decades after their release.
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Gazan Students Create Energy Saving Hospital Cleaning Device

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Reuters (Oct. 23, 2013) Engineering students in Gaza have designed a prototype ozone gas generator to sterilise hospital rooms, a difficult task in a country living with economic sanctions imposed by the surrounding state of Israel. Their device activates oxygen and transforms it into ozone gas by using an electric charge of 80,000 volts. Jim Drury reports.
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Discovery Whales Get Tans Opens Doors for New Research

Discovery Whales Get Tans Opens Doors for New Research

Newsy (Aug. 31, 2013) Researchers found some whales tan, giving scientists more insight into the aging process and the impact of the depleting ozone layer.
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The Ozone Layer Is Recovering, But It's Not All Good News

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Newsy (Sep. 11, 2014) The Ozone layer is recovering thickness! Hooray! But in helping its recovery, we may have also helped put more greenhouse gases out there. Hooray? Video provided by Newsy
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