High up in the stratosphere, Oliver Ozone hangs out soaking up the rays
Meanwhile down on Earth, an irresponsible human inadvertently releases a CFC molecule into the air while spraying her hair for the big show. That’s Chloroflourocarbon to you!!!
Unaware of the danger coming his way, Oliver happily continued doing his job with the rest of the ozone crowd. Little did he know, big bad CFC was headed his way. I have him in my sights!!!
Biding his time until the sun reappeared from behind a cloud, CFC patiently waited to make his move. Just when he thought of turning back, He felt the familiar warmth of the ultraviolet light dissolving the bonds between his carbon and chlorine atoms.
Free of their bonds, the chlorine atoms storm ahead to capture their prey. Go get ‘em boys!!!!
Unaware of what was happening, Oliver welcomes the new addition and allows the chlorine to attach to his outer oxygen and form a new bond. Before he realizes it, the chlorine pulls off Oliver’s 3 rd oxygen leaving him one atom short. Now instead of ozone, Oliver is now just plain oxygen (O 2 ).
Chlorine ran away with his new addition, leaving poor Oliver left to wonder what had just happened. Where will he go? What will he do? Without his 3 rd oxygen, Oliver is no longer ozone. He can’t do his job and absorb the UV light from the sun, so he won’t be allowed to stay in the Ozone Layer. Sadly, Oliver leaves his lifetime home to hopefully find more like him in down in the Troposphere. You’re coming with me!! Hahaha!!! Excellent! My Plan is working perfectly.
Gradually the Chlorine and the kidnapped oxygen make their way through the stratosphere. Help me!!! Eventually, they came across Omar, a loose oxygen atom. Knowing that he couldn’t leave a fellow oxygen in peril, Omar takes action. As he approaches, he realizes that he has the advantage. The bond between the kidnapping chlorine and the snatched oxygen is weak at best. Being an atom of the same type, Omar can create a much stronger bond with the captured oxygen.
Making up his mind, Omar grabs hold of the kidnapped oxygen and pulls it away from the rogue chlorine. Unfortunately, what Omar didn’t realize was that by freeing the oxygen, he enabled the chlorine to go back and pull apart another ozone molecule.
So the cycle starts all over again, and again, and again…………. ….one chlorine atom can destroy over 100,000 ozone molecules!!!
Over several years, the combined effect of billions of CFC’s destroy enough ozone molecules, that the ozone layer becomes weak and a hole starts to form.
The use of CFC’s have been banned in the USA since the 1970’s. We are finally seeing the hole shrink. –In 2007, it was 30% smaller than in 2006.