Is the Ozone Layer Strengthening?

environment, science

Or Is the Ozone Layer weakening? There has been much debate on this question.

ozone layer
ozone layer (click here for original source image)

Over the past couple of decades there have been many theories in this arena. With observations of varying strength and age, many of these theories are beginning to look like they may be able to explain a recent weakening in the ozone layer.

The first theory that has been examined is that there has been a major depletion in the levels of chlorine. While it is difficult to determine exactly where this occurred or why, it is thought to be related to a variety of incidents such as the chlorination of drinking water, industrial waste, other considerations. As a result, the concentration of ozone in the atmosphere may have naturally declined. However, there didn’t appear to be a decrease in the amount of ozone over the oceans or in the upper atmosphere.

Another hypothesis that is being looked at is that the Earth’s climate has been significantly impacted by global warming. Evidence from ice cores and remote temperature observations show that the Earth’s temperatures have been relatively constant for the last century. However, there have been periods of rapid global warming. During those times, the level of ozone in the atmosphere also increased. Is the ozone layer thinning because of the increase in global warming or is there something else causing it? Researchers are still trying to answer that question.