It is the presence of oxygen in the high atmosphere and in the stratosphere that really protects us from ultraviolet radiation. In a very simplified manner, it works this way: Incoming ultraviolet radiation strikes and divides an oxygen molecule (O2). The two separate oxygen atoms are very reactive and quickly combine with other oxygen molecules to form ozone (O3). Ultraviolet energy is thereby absorbed and prevented from penetrating the earth's surface. As long as there is sufficient oxygen in the stratosphere and as long as the sun puts out ultraviolet radiation at the right wavelength, ozone will be produced. Several tons of ozone are produced every second, mainly in that part of the stratosphere that is 10 to 40 kilometers above the earth's surface.In other words, if this is true, everything you heard about the ozone layer is wrong.
Basically, according to this:
- O2 (breathable oxygen) rises from the surface.
- UV ray hits O2 and is absorbed. The energy from the ray causes the two atoms in the O2 molecule to split apart.
- The free O atoms join into O3 (ozone) molecules. These are a byproduct of the reaction, and are not involved in actually making the reaction happen.
The shorter version: the environmentalists lied to everybody, and the media and government bought it.
Well, either that or a few people on the Internet are talking out of their asses. I'm certainly not going to rule that out, but I'd like to know if anybody's seen a debunking of this claim. People?