Wednesday, November 3, 2010


5 of 24 posts

(13 September 2010, THE RISING NEPAL, Kathmandu, Nepal)
Dr. Dev Bahadur Dongol
Don’t Blame CFC
Our immediate climatic atmosphere (troposphere) IS NOT LAYERED. It is a homogenous mixture of gases because it is moving all the time; therefore it is thoroughly mixed up. So there is no layer of gases that reflects heat because gases move upwards when it is heated. It releases heat when reaches a colder zone. Principle of heat transmission is that heat always travels from hotter to colder zone. Above climatic atmosphere is Ozonosphere. We all know the air becomes thinner as we go higher. So lighter gases are situated at higher altitude and heavier gases are situated near the earth due to the gravitational pull of the earth. So the troposphere has comparatively all the heavy gases. Compared to the atmosphere near the surface of the earth the ozone layer is very thin. This we can guess by considering the fact that the mountaineers have to carry oxygen with them even to climb mountains that are much lower than Mount Everest. Ozone is situated even at higher altitude, 30,000 feet. So naturally ozone layer must be thinner than oxygen available at the height of the Mount Everest.
Ozone layer works on ‘make and break’ principle, as O3 breaks into three atoms of oxygen because of the heat of the Ultraviolet ray from the Sun. But oxygen cannot stay as atom alone, it has to be in the molecular form by combining with another atoms or molecules. Since only oxygen is available in the ozonosphere it combines with other atoms of oxygen and again becomes ozone; by doing that it releases heat it absorbed as ozone molecules. But as soon as it becomes ozone the continuously available Ultraviolet rays from the Sun again breaks the ozone molecules into atoms of oxygen. This is how ozone blocks some heat from the Sun.
CFC is Chloro–Fluoro-Carbon (Cl¬2 F2 C) and has two atoms of chlorine, two atoms of fluorine and one atom of carbon. Carbon dioxide (CO2) has one atom of carbon and two atoms of oxygen. Ozone is O3 or three atoms of Oxygen combined and it is unstable because it breaks into single oxygen atoms when heated.
Molecular weights, comparative weights of O2, CO2, O3 and Chlorofluorocarbon (Hydrogen is lightest gas so its weight is standardized as 1, Oxygen is 16, carbon is 12, chlorine is 35.5, and fluorine is 19) are as follow:

(Oxygen 16X2 =32,  CO2 12 + 16X2 = 44, cl2 fl2 c (CFC) = 35.5X2 + 19X2 + 12 = 121, Ozone (O3) = 16X3 = 48 and atomic oxygen is 16; that’s why ozone layer can stay at higher than our immediate atmosphere.

Concentration of CO2 in the ozonosphere is nil as this gas is heavier than O2. So CFC molecules are too heavy and too scarce to reach to that height, then how it can deplete without being in contact with ozone? CFC is very heavy compared to CO2 and oxygen. It can’t reach to the ozone layer.

(Ozone layer works on ‘make and break’ principle. Ozone (O3) breaks into three atoms of oxygen as soon as it forms and form stable oxygen molecule, O2.

 Because the heat of the Ultraviolet ray from the Sun is available uninterrupted, oxygen molecules are broken into atomic oxygen and atomic oxygen cannot stay alone, it has to be in the molecular form by combining with other atoms and forms ozone, O3 which is very unstable and forms oxygen molecules, O2. Molecules of oxygen by absorbing heat of the UV from the Sun are again broken into atomic oxygen. Since only oxygen is available in the ozonosphere it combines with other atoms of oxygen and again becomes ozone.

Ozone by breaking into atomic oxygen releases heat it absorbed from UV to form oxygen molecules, but as soon as it becomes oxygen molecules UV breaks them to form atomic oxygen by the continuously available Ultraviolet rays from the Sun.  Again the ozone molecules break into atoms of oxygen immediately and releases heat. This is how ozone blocks some heat from the Sun. This ‘make and break’ of ozone goes on in no time, all the time. The sun’s rays are always entering the earth’s atmosphere).

Better explanation - jet flights

Every day millions of jet flight takes place in the world. They all fly at the height of 30,000 ft where the ozone layer lies. They carry fuel with them to burn. For burning the fuel they need huge quantity of oxygen which they get either from the climatic atmosphere (Troposphere) or Ozonosphere which is situated just above the troposphere. Anyone can guess how much oxygen is being used up by the flights of the planes and the jet planes. It is not difficult to accuse that these flights are causing the depletion of Ozone (if at all depleting). OZONE depletion by CFC (Cl2F2C -  dichloro-difluoro-carbon) is impossible, because it is too scarce and too heavy to reach to the ozonosphere.

Banning the jet planes to fly higher than 25,000 feet will definitely save our Ozone layer. But it is not necessary because uninterrupted UV from the Sun is continuously forming ozone out of the oxygen of the atmosphere, by doing so UV entering into our atmosphere is reduced to some extent.



Considering the action of UV, the depletion of Ozone is not possible before the extinction of human race (needs at least 16% O2 in the atmosphere to survive). UV is constantly forming O­3 (Ozone) out of the Oxygen of the atmosphere, thus reducing the amount of UV reaching the earth and is constantly making up the ozonosphere consumed by millions of jet flights every day. After extinction of human race, vegetation will be denser and thus O2 will be released into atmosphere at higher rate than at present. Thus, O3 depletion is impossible.


Details in the following posts of this blog:


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