About ozone and the formation of the ozone hole

Ozone is a molecule that is composed of three oxygen atoms, whereas ordinary oxygen gas has two atoms. Ozone is responsible for filtering out harmful ultra-violet radiation (UV-B: light with wavelengths less than 290 nm) from the Sun. In that sense the precense of an ozone layer in the Earth's atmosphere is essential for our health.

Ozone is constantly being made and destroyed in the stratosphere (above, say, 12 km) and this cycle is in balance if the atmosphere is unpolluted. Emissions of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and other gasses in recent decades have upset this equilibrium.

I have made two introductory Web pages on this subject:
  > Southern Hemishphere ozone values
describing the South Pole ozone hole, the reason it forms and its evolution, as well as some remarks on the effect on the temperature of the atmosphere of ozone
  > Northern Hemishphere ozone values
describing ozone depletion around the North Pole, and something on what are by some called ozone mini-holes, notably the minihole over Northwestern Europe on 30 Nov. 1999.
Some ozone-related links:
= General information about ozone from the United Nations
= The Ozone Secretariat UNEP from the United Nations
= Ozone bulletins and data from the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO)
= South Pole ozone program of the Climate Monitoring & Diagnostics Laboratory (CMDL)
= Ozone Soundings at Neumayer station (70°37'S, 8°22'W)
= The Ozone Depletion FAQ from Robert Parson
= European Ozone Research Coordination Unit
= Ozone depletion page of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
= Ozone maps archive at the Meteorological Service of Canada (MSC)
= The Ozone Hole Tour

<=== The 1999 ozone hole as seen by GOME

<=== My post-doc. research at KNMI page

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created: 12 October 1999
last modified: 16 April 2012