How much of science do you remember back in your science class back in primary school? Does the word ozone layer ring any bell? Let me jog your memory a little. The ozone layer, is the Earth’s fragile shield of gas that protects humans and the environment from harmful levels of ultraviolet radiation from the sun
Growing up, I would hear people say how the ozone layer is important and needs to be protected or else the human race would be frying in the scorching sun or burning from the acid rain that falls as a result of the destroyed protective “coat”.
There has been drastic changes so far in how the environment looks like and without a doubt human activities are playing a key role in this. Industries are emitting dangerous chemicals that are slowly depleting this layer. Fumes from cars using leaded fuel emit dark chocking smoke that damages the breathing system and slow destroys the protective layer of the earth.
The Montreal Protocol governs activities on preserving the ozone layer. In length, The Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer is the landmark multilateral environmental agreement that regulates the production and consumption of nearly 100 man-made chemicals referred to as ozone depleting substances.
As NASA explains, the ozone layer has a hole in it, achieved through the use of gases like chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) in spray cans and refrigerants, which break down ozone molecules in the upper atmosphere.
Air is the main component of the atmosphere and it is mainly made up of 78% Nitrogen, 21% Oxygen and 19% of other particles including carbon dioxide (CO2). The air is not only important for human beings but plants too. Any living matter to be precise. There are tiny particles known as aerosols like dust which contribute to air pollution that comes from smoke. This could be from vehicles, burning of trees to make charcoal and consuming the charcoal for domestic or industrial purposes. Too much CO2 is harmful and thus the main contributor to global warming.
Therefore, it is vital to take care of the environment so that we all have clean air and better environments to live as well as the future generations. If we do not do this, then children will not be able to do sports at school, at home nor at playgrounds. This is not healthy and thus children will grow up deprived of the freedom to move around for the development of their muscles and body parts.
This is why climate activists such as Greta Thunberg (Sweden), Leah Namugerwa (Uganda), Ellyanne Wanjiku (Kenya) and many other students from all over the world are protesting for action. These young determined champions are demanding for immediate action as there will be no future if the leaders do nothing now. There are children doing various activities on a weekly basis to plant more trees so that in the coming years, there will not be rainfall problems during the expected seasons. They line up in the streets, marching and chanting, “What do we want? Climate justice. When do we want it? NOW.”
On September 16, the world marks International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer with theme “32 years of healing”. As applauded by United Nations Secretary General António Guterres, “…through the Montreal Protocol, we have been shown how environmental governance can respond to science, and how countries can come together to address a shared vulnerability”. This day and other international days seek to raise awareness and educate the public on issues that are affecting the society, to mobilize political support and increase the resources to address global problems.
Photo courtesy; NOAA Climate.gov
To read more https://www.un.org/en/events/ozoneday/
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