Our sky, ourselves: Restoring the ozone layer

image of Our sky, ourselves: Restoring the ozone layer

High above us in the sky, a region of the stratosphere extending over our entire planet forms a vital screen protecting humans, animals and plants from the damaging effects of ultraviolet radiation from the sun. This region is the ozone layer. Ozone is a highly reactive molecule composed of three oxygen atoms that occurs naturally in small amounts. The ozone layer—the stratospheric region with the highest ozone concentration, found at some 16 to 35 km altitude— absorbs incoming biologically harmful ultraviolet solar radiation, shielding life on Earth from such effects as skin cancer, cataracts and immune system suppression and helping prevent damage to plants, single-cell organisms and aquatic ecosystems.

Related Subject(s): United Nations
Sustainable Development Goals:
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