Thursday, March 5, 2009
Chlorofluorocarbons were introduced to the world in the 1920s and are used in a range of industrial, commercial, and residential uses and is a big part of Global Warming. Chlorofluorocarbons, along with others like chlorine- and bromine-containing compounds, have been implicated in the boost of reduction of ozone in our planet’s stratosphere. This stuff is non-flammable, non-toxic, and non-reactive with other chemical composites. These nice safety characteristics make them useful as coolants in air conditioners and refrigerators, propellants for aerosol sprays, and blowing agents. Production and use of Chlorofluorocarbons increased as a demand by us humans for production of these common products.
It was not until 1973 that chlorine was found to be a catalytic agent in ozone devastation. Catalytic obliteration of ozone gets rid of the odd O2 species while leaving chlorine unchanged. We knew that this was potentially damaging to the ozone layer, but beyond question evidence of stratospheric ozone depletion was not exposed until 1984. An intricate situation of atmospheric dynamics, chemical reactions, and solar radiation, was found to explain the abnormal low levels of ozone during the polar springtime. Current missions to the Arctic areas show that related processes can occur in the northern hemisphere, but to a lesser level due to warmer temperatures. We as a nation have to do something soon before this climate change takes a real toll on our planet!