Oxygen, a necessity for life is sourced from plants during photosynthesis process and used up by various processes such as respiration and combustion. Oxygen cycle needs to be balanced well by planting more trees and plants.
Ozone layer existing in the atmosphere has an essential function to protect the earth’s surface from harmful radiation of the sun. If the ozone layer depletes, then all living creatures are subjected to skin cancers and various other medical diseases.
The oxygen cycle:
Oxygen is an essential need for a life to survive. Oxygen is required for respiration of all living organisms. Air is composed of 21% of oxygen. Oxygen is found in the form of oxides of metals in the earth’s crust and is a vital component in carbohydrates, fats, and nucleic acids.
Oxygen in the atmosphere is used up by three ways - respiration, combustion and in the formation of oxides of nitrogen. The oxygen is recycled back into the atmosphere by the plants during photosynthesis process. This completes the oxygen cycle.
Oxygen in its most basic form is found as a diatomic molecule (O2). However, as we go up in the atmosphere, oxygen is found as triatomic molecule (O3) known as ozone. Ozone is poisonous to health and is not stable near earth’s surface. Ozone plays an important role in absorbing the harmful sun’s radiation before it falls on earth’s surface.
However, recently it is known that there is a depletion in ozone layer due to the release of various chemical compounds like chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). The chlorine and fluorine molecules from CFCs are not biodegradable and hence are released to the atmosphere, where they react with the ozone layer, thus depleting the triatomic molecules.
This indicates that if the ozone layer is damaged, all living organisms will pose the risks of skin cancers caused by harmful radiation of the sun.