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Difference Between Ozone and Greenhouse Gases

global_warming_bookOzone vs Greenhouse Gases

Global Warming is one the hardest issues being tackled worldwide today. It is actually refers to the increasing average temperatures of the Earth’s surface, air and oceans, caused by greenhouse gases that are increasing in concentration, and is, in turn, causing the Ozone layer in the atmosphere to be depleted. Greenhouse gases are usually caused by deforestation, and utilization of fossil fuels whose emissions are dangerous to the air.

Terminologies such as ‘Ozone’ and ‘Greenhouse gases’ are thrown around very often, and for some, don’t provide much insight, due to lack of information. This results in unawareness to the danger that is being experienced by our planet. So, the main question is: ‘What is Ozone and Greenhouse gases?’

What is Ozone?

Scientifically, Ozone is a molecule composed of 3 oxygen atoms. It is a pale blue gas, soluble in water (H2O), albeit extremely soluble in solvents that are non-polar, like fluorocarbons or carbon tetrachloride. People can detect minute amounts of ozone in the air. One distinction is that it has a very sharp odor, that closely resembles bleach. Being exposed to even 0.1 to 1 ppm of ozone produces physical symptoms, such as burning eyes, respiratory passage irritation, and headaches. It is also fatal to organic components, like the lungs, latex or plastics.

High concentrations of ozone can be found in the Earth’s atmosphere, specifically in the stratosphere, about 10 kilometers to 50 kilometers above the surface. Ozone acts as a filter against short-waved photons, such as the harmful UV (Ultraviolet) rays of the Sun, which are extremely harmful, in large doses, to most organic life forms.

What is Greenhouse Gas?

Greenhouse gases are gases in the Earth’s atmosphere that can absorb and emit radiation. This particular process is the main cause of the greenhouse effect that is currently a threat to our planet. Main greenhouse gases are composed of water vapor, methane, carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide and Ozone. These greenhouse gases make a significant impact on the temperature of the Earth. They also trap heat within the surface-troposphere system, which in turn causes heating of the Earth’s surface because of the presence of an atmosphere containing gases that absorb and emit infrared radiation. These gases, emitted back, cause extreme warming of the surface, which facilitates melting of the polar ice caps, and raising of sea water to dangerous levels. This effect is sometimes attributed to the frequently occurring tsunamis, and flooding of cities.

Summary:

1. Ozone is a component of the Earth’s atmosphere that serves to protect us against the harmful rays of the Sun, while Greenhouse Gases are multiple chemicals that mixes with the ozone layer, and traps heat that should have been dissipated in space, but instead, is reflected back to the surface of the Earth; thus facilitating Global Warming.
2. Ozone is a pale blue gas, soluble in water (H2O), albeit extremely soluble in solvents that are non-polar, like fluorocarbons or carbon tetrachloride, while Greenhouse Gases are composed of water vapor, methane, carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide and Ozone.


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