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 What is Ozone Matter?

  • Ozone (O₃) is a gas molecule made up of three oxygen atoms

  • It's interesting because depending on where it's found in the atmosphere, it can have opposite effects on Earth.

  • The "Good" Ozone: The Stratospheric Ozone Layer

  • High up in the atmosphere, from about 6 to 30 miles above Earth's surface, lies the stratospheric ozone layer. 

  • This ozone layer is "good" because it absorbs most of the sun's harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation. 

  • This protection shields us and other living things from the damaging effects of UV rays, like sunburn and even skin cancer.

  • The "Bad" Ozone: Ground-Level Ozone

  • Closer to the ground, in the troposphere (the lowest level of the atmosphere), ozone acts as a pollutant. 

  • This ground-level ozone is the "bad" kind. 

  • It's formed by chemical reactions between sunlight and pollutants like nitrogen oxides (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

  • This type of ozone irritates the lungs and can trigger respiratory problems, especially for people with asthma. 

What does stronger UV radiation do to ecosystem?

  • One of the main biological impacts of UV exposure on aquatic ecosystems is a reduction in the rate of photosynthesis. 

  • This can have a direct effect on primary productivity and, since different species may vary in their sensitivity to UV exposure, may eventually affect biodiversity.

  • Harm to organisms: UV-B radiation directly damages DNA and other cellular components in living things. 

  • This can lead to reduced growth, weakened immune systems, and even death for some organisms.

  • Impact on food chain: Phytoplankton, the base of many aquatic food chains, can be particularly susceptible to UV-B radiation

  • If phytoplankton populations decline, this disrupts the entire food chain, impacting fish and other organisms that depend on them.

  • Changes in species composition: Some species are more tolerant of UV-B radiation than others.

  • As UV radiation strengthens, some species may struggle or disappear, while UV-tolerant species may become more abundant. 

  • This can lead to a shift in the overall makeup of the ecosystem .

  • Reduced biodiversity: The loss of some species due to UV-B can lead to a decline in overall biodiversity within the ecosystem. 

  • This can have cascading effects on the health and functioning of the ecosystem.



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Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam: Ozone UPSC NOTE
Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam
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