According to a recent study by NASA, the coolant used in refrigerators, home and automobile air conditioners also causes damage to the Ozone layer. Though not on large scale but in a significant amount. The study states that by the year 2050, the HFCs used in the above-mentioned cooling devices will have caused a total of 0.035 percentage of depletion on the Ozone layer.
These Hydrofluorocarbons doesn’t make direct damage to the protective layer. However, it acts as a catalyst to the reactions by other ozone depleting chemicals. These HFCs increases the temperature of the stratosphere and thus increases the speed of the reaction that destroys the Ozone Molecules. The researchers also discovered that the HFC also accelerates the Ozone-poor gas upwards, towards the stratosphere.
The Ozone layer is a layer of Ozone molecules, that covers the earth’s stratosphere and resists the harmful UV (Ultraviolet) radiations by the sun and thus protects the earth. These UV radiations cause acute and irreversible effects to human body. These effects include mainly sunburn (or erythema) and tanning (or pigment darkening). The chronic effects of UV exposure can be much more serious, even life threatening, and include premature aging of the skin, suppression of the immune system, damage to the eyes, and skin cancer.
HFCs were used as a supliment to CFC (chlorofluorocarbon) and HCFC (hydrochlorofluorocarbons) in home and automobile equipment as these were much more dangerous and causes high damage to the Ozone. The effects of CFCs were first observed in 1980s when scientists observed a large hole in the Ozone above Antarctica. This is after which CFCs were banned in the whole world in 1987 under the Montreal Protocol by the United Nations and HFCs came into use.
But now the research states that HFCs have a dirrect and linear relation withe depletion of the layer.Tags: global warming, NASA, Ozone, Science