19.5 MB (720.8 KB compressed)
3661 x 1863 pixels
31.0 x 15.7 cm ⏐ 12.2 x 6.2 in (300dpi)
HENNING DALHOFF / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY HENNING DALHOFF / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Ozone depletion. Computer illustration showing the process of ozone (O3) depletion in the upper atmosphere (stratosphere) over Antarctica. Chloro- fluorocarbons (CFCs) from aerosols destroy the O3 that filters the Sun's harmful ultraviolet radiat- ion. Ultraviolet light (purple wavy lines) breaks down the CFC (lower left), releasing its chlorine (Cl, blue). Each Cl atom tears an oxygen atom (O, red) from O3 to form ClO and an oxygen molecule (O2). In cold conditions nitrogen dioxide (NO2, upper left), which can store ClO, is lost in snowfall (centre). This leaves the ClO free to destroy O3 in a continuous cycle (centre right).
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