Ozone is an unusual molecule of oxygen. Normal oxygen molecules consist of two atoms, but
ozone is made of three. Also unlike normal oxygen, which lacks color, ozone is a bluish hue.
The Ozone Layer
The ozone layer is a large acummulation of ozone in the atmosphere.
Specifically, it is located in the stratosphere. To get an idea of how far from Earth's surface the ozone layer is,
the stratosphere is where jets fly. It is called a layer because the ozone is in an usually large quantity
compared to the atmosphere around it.
This huge blanket of abnormal oxygen serves a vital purpose for earth.
Without it, life would be impossible. The sun, along with heat, sends ultraviolet(UV) radiation to earth.
These UV rays are harmful to both animals and plants, causing deformities and mutations. The ozone layer acts as a shield
and absorbs those rays, preventing them from reach the earth. Some of those rays reach Earth, but to a much lesser extent
than in the absence of the ozone.
The Ozone Hole
Already the harmful results of this environmental problem have been seen
in the world. Once a year, in the summer, an atmosphere over Antarctica suffers a severe loss of ozone molecules.
As seen in the image below, this "hole" as been increasing in size over the past years. It is thought also to be lasting
longer. If something isn't done to stop the depletion of this necessariy component of Earth, it is on its way unhindered
to become even more dangerous.
As you can see, the area near Anarctica progressively changes to blue and purple, a decreasing
of the ozone.