Extremes and Environmental Risk
Published Online: 15 SEP 2006
Copyright © 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd
Encyclopedia of Environmetrics
How to Cite
Cocchi, D. and Trivisano, C. 2006. Ozone. Encyclopedia of Environmetrics. 3.
- Published Online: 15 SEP 2006
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Ozone gas is produced by photochemical dissociation of atmospheric oxygen as a result of shortwave solar ultraviolet radiation. It is highly concentrated in the stratosphere, mainly between 15 and 40 km. Stratospheric ozone is necessary for life on Earth, since it absorbs solar ultraviolet radiation, which should have mutagenetic effects on living tissues of plants and animals. In recent years it has been discovered that the ozone layer is thinned in the ozonosphere above Antarctica. This has been caused mainly by chlorofluorocarbures (CFCs) from human activities, which are emitted into the stratosphere. This phenomenon, commonly known as the ‘ozone hole’, is different from the increase of ozone in the troposphere, which is the lowest part of the atmosphere near the earth’s surface, i.e. a thin stratum of atmosphere which on average occurs at 10 km altitude. The chemical and biological processes that regulate life on earth, and most of the meteorological processes, occur in the troposphere.