why is the layer of stratospheric ozone so important

Also called the Ozone layer, where ozone concentrations are
as high as 10 parts per million, is a vitally important region of the
atmosphere. This layer of ozone is located approximately 20-50 kilometers
above the earth's surface. Stratospheric ozone is important because
it prevents most of the high-energy ultraviolet solar radiation from
reaching the earth's surface. Photodissociation, a photochemical process,
is responsible for the formation of the protective ozone layer in the

In the upper atmosphere, diatomic oxygen absorbs high-energy
ultraviolet radiation. The absorption of radiation causes the diatomic
oxygen molecule to break forming two oxygen radicals. The oxygen radical
can then recombine with other diatomic oxygen molecules to form triatomic
oxygen, or ozone. In the upper region of the stratosphere, ozone is
found in concentrations as high as 10 parts per million. Ozone can
form in the lower portions of the troposphere, due to anthropogenic

When ozone concentrations in the lower troposphere become
too high, it can seriously affect human health. Without the protective
ozone layer in the upper atmosphere life (as we know it) on earth would
not be possible. We provide this glossary
to assist clients in the selection and operation of our complete
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Ozone is a gas in the atmosphere that protects everything living on the Earth from harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays from the Sun.

Without the layer of ozone in the atmosphere, it would be very difficult for anything to survive on the surface. (Think of a very bad sunburn, only much worse! ) Plants cannot live and grow in heavy ultraviolet radiation, nor can the plankton that serve as food for most of the ocean life. The ozone layer acts as a shield to absorb the UV rays, and keep them from doing damage at the Earth's surface.

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