On the news we hear about the ozone hole over Antarctica. You may be asking yourself: What even is the ozone hole? Why should I care?
First of all the ozone is what protects us from the harmful rays of the sun. Ozone lies in the stratosphere and is a layer of gas surrounding the Earth. Although we are still able to get burnt, the ozone captures and absorbs most UV-B light. If we were to have no ozone, there would be nothing there to protect us from those harmful rays! We must therefore worry about this hole growing ever larger.
Thankfully scientists have been able to trace back what is causing this ozone deficiency. Certain laws and regulations have been put into action following this discovery of the ozone hole. Laws such as the Ozone Layer Protection Act of 1996 and the Clean Air Act of 1963 help repair the ozone today. *
How can we help? Just patch it up like I said. Right? Actually, if we were to add ozone to the stratosphere (where ozone lives) we would be adding more harmful chemicals from the jets output and making the ozone hole larger faster than if we were to try and patch it up. Therefore we cannot fix the problem that quick. With the implementations of the new laws regulating harmful chemicals to the ozone, the ozone will eventually heal its wound above Antarctica by 2070.**
One way to help perhaps would be to make sure your car gets an annual smog test. The catalytic converter on your car is there to convert harmful chemicals into something that is less toxic to the environment and therefore less harmful to the ozone layer. Other ways to reduce air pollution would be to carpool to work or take public transportation. Simple changes to ones lifestyle can make the largest impacts on the environment.
Organizations like the one linked below give good updates and more information if you are interested in taking action and protecting the planet in which you live.
*Information gathered from https://environmentallaw.uslegal.com/federal-laws/clean-air-act/ and https://www.mfe.govt.nz/more/acts-and-regulations/ozone-layer-protection-act-1996-and-ozone-layer-protection-regulations.
**Ideas gathered from Dr. David De Haan.