Life on land was not possible until the ozone layer was created in the earth's upper atmosphere. The ozone layer blocks out toxic short-wave ultraviolet radiation from the sun. Without the ozone layer, life on land would not be possible. Today, the ozone layer is in danger.
For an introduction to the ozone layer, visit the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research's Introduction to Ozone page.
This summer, the hole in the ozone layer above Antarctica was larger than ever, more than 10 million square miles in size. Scientists have now issued a warning to people living in southern Chile: don't go out in the daytime without protection. Because of the hole in the ozone layer, it's now possible for people living at those latitudes to get sunburned even on cloudy days. Scientists predict, within the next ten years, the same will happen to people living in the arctic.
For more advanced information about the ozone layer and its importance
to our environment, take the
Ozone Hole Tour, a web site maintained by the Centre for Atmospheric Science at the University
of Cambridge in England..
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