Ozone’s good until it’s in the upper atmosphere

global warming1

We all know that the only thing preventing us from skin cancer and other skin related diseases resulting from the ultraviolet rays of the sun is the Ozone layer in Earth’s stratosphere. Though the layer is extremely important in the upper atmosphere it’s not that good down below.

According to a new study Ozone in the lower atmosphere could drastically reduce the ability of plants to act as a carbon sink and thus cause an even further accumulation of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere. The presence of Ozone in the lower atmosphere is not only harmful for plants but is also harmful to the human respiratory system.

global warming 2

Ground-level Ozone damages cells inside leaves and hence reduces their photosynthesis rates. This does not allow plants to absorb carbon dioxide at a rate which they normally do. If plants are not able to process carbon dioxide, it will become abundant in the atmosphere resulting in an increase in the average temperature of Earth. If conditions continue to degrade at the same rate then by 2100 it would cut plants’ carbon storage accumulation by 143 – 263 petagrams.

Presently many regions of Earth already experience ozone levels greater than 40 ppb that is enough to do serious damage to plants. Researchers estimate the levels will further rise over the next century and eventually be more than 70 ppb around most parts of the world. Here the increasing amount of carbon dioxide will come to help, as plants close their stomata once the amount of carbon dioxide increases beyond a certain amount reducing the amount of ozone that can enter the leaves. But still the increase in the amount of carbon dioxide will escalate the global warming process and still the planet will be the loser.

Via: Tree Hugger

Today's Top Articles:

Scroll to Top