I’ve had a simple puzzlement concerning the ozone layer. Succinctly, the troposphere is largely and preferably ozone free. When it thermally rises at the tropics to become the stratosphere molecular oxygen cleaves under actinic radiation to from nascent oxygen that, in turn joins with molecular oxygen to form ozone. The stratospheric ozone, of course, is vital to protect against harmful radiation. Then at the polar vortices the flow once again returns to the troposphere. Ozone is undesirable in the troposphere and is removed at this point.

If this is accurate (?), why would halides that disassociate ozone (in conjunction with ice crystals only present at the Antarctic pole) be seen as adverse?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Actually, the troposphere does have ozone in it, though not as much as the stratosphere. I'm not sure I understand what you are asking; the formation of stratospheric ozone is generally maintained via the Chapman cycle. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 11, 2017 at 21:05
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Yes, the troposphere isn’t ozone free. I’m asking about halogens at the Antarctic. Since ozone is depleted in the Antarctic vortex, why would such depletion by halogens on ice crystals at this location be of concern? $\endgroup$
    – TomO
    Commented Jul 11, 2017 at 22:09
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Are you saying stratospheric ozone goes to the troposphere at the polls? That's really not how it works. And, ozone depletion at the polls is a concern because stratospheric ozone at mid-latitudes decreases as it mixes to the higher latitudes to reach equilibrium. $\endgroup$
    – f.thorpe
    Commented Jul 11, 2017 at 23:13
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I don't know anything about the Chapman Cycle (and think an answer regarding it would be great), but thinking there isn't great interaction between the troposphere and stratosphere overall. Yes updrafts in warm areas reach the tropopause and may mix some new oxygen into the stratosphere (and likely new ozone down to the troposphere) (and maybe PV folds do the same in mid-lats???) but wouldn't think the sinking motion over the poles would mix things much. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 12, 2017 at 6:38
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ As far as I (naively?) understand it, the reduced ozone levels that form during the stratospheric polar vortices mix out into the wider body of the globe once spring hits, so would lead to some negative change in all places (though greatest nearest Antarctica) $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 12, 2017 at 6:41

1 Answer 1


Every time the rays of the sun come into contact with earth they have to first be reflected back to the ozone layer before returning to earth. This has a cooling effect on the earth temperature. Since the industrial revolution the ozone layer has been severely depleted by the greenhouse gas emissions. Remember the sun is a ball of burning gases, whose light reaches earth early morning within eight minutes. If the earth just moved an inch away in space from the position set approximately from the sun, earth could freeze and no living organism would survive. In the same regard if it moved an inch closer to the sun every life would be incinerated.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ The cooling effect of the ozone layer is only about 2%. Your remarks about the earth moving a inch closer to or farther from the sun are nonsense; the ellipse already has a variation of 6 million km $\endgroup$
    – Jan Doggen
    Commented Dec 10, 2018 at 9:59
  • $\begingroup$ Welcome Anthony :-) Jan does make fair enough points... even as your wider idea about Earth being at the right distance to be habitable for our life is very valid :-) And she's saying the estimated value of ozone hole cooling is only about 2% of the size of Greenhouse warming, so not a large factor. $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 10, 2018 at 12:45
  • $\begingroup$ But I hope you'll not let the downvotes/critiques deter you, but instead use it as motivation, and proof of the passion people here have in forming the most precise and proper information possible... so we all end up learning and benefiting most :) So please try not to take such things personally! :-) I do hope you stick around and learn more, and perhaps a day will come when the right question is asked where you know the topic really well and can give great input in an answer to help others learn. Or that you come to have a really good question to ask on something you're trying to understand! $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 10, 2018 at 12:56
  • $\begingroup$ I know it can be frustrating to feel like you don't have anything to ask/answer, I felt the same way when I started here and on other SE sites. But I encourage you to be patient and get to know us and learn here, as there's much to be learned here, even for scientists like me :) $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 10, 2018 at 12:56

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.