Home > Global Impact > What Will Happen to Life on Earth if Ozone Depletion Continues?

What Will Happen to Life on Earth if Ozone Depletion Continues?

By: Susan Hunt MA - Updated: 5 Mar 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Life Earth Ozone Ozone Layer Damage

Most scientists are agreed that without the earth’s ozone layer, we would all cease to exist.

That’s one of the main reasons that global ozone levels are now constantly monitored and worldwide research is taking place into ozone depletion.

Land and Water Life Would Suffer

Without the ozone layer’s protection from the sun, people, animals and plant life would be destroyed. Even underwater life would not be safe since UV rays can penetrate clear water to a certain depth before being absorbed.

Of course, the actual effect on mankind of less ozone depends on the extent to which it is depleted. Experts believe that for every 1% drop in ozone protection, there is an increase of around 2% in UV-B rays which get through to the planet’s surface.

Good News

However, research carried out for the United Nations Environmental Programme showed that ozone levels had not fallen further between 2002 and 2005, thanks to initiatives such as the Montreal Protocol.

One of the greatest problems with ozone is that we need the “right” amount to maintain life as we know it today. Too little and life on earth could be wiped out – but too much and we won’t receive the amount of sunlight that we need. (Some scientists are now concerned that global warming will lead to much higher levels of ozone which could block out too much sun).

It is widely known that rates of skin cancer are linked to UV-B exposure – which is one of the reasons that it’s so important to use suncream and to make sure that children are protected from the sun. (Latest research suggests that you are more at risk from just two or three instances of extreme sunburn than from prolonged but limited exposure such as sunbathing.)

Increase in Disease

However, increased exposure to the sun’s radiation can also cause blindness and cataracts and, alarmingly, some experts now believe that the amount of protection we receive from vaccinations (for diseases such as measles) could be reduced in people exposed to higher levels of UV-B rays.

Depending on the level of exposure to the sun, effects can range from premature ageing to certain kinds of skin cancer. Over the past decade there has been a large increase in the number of people developing skin cancer but this could be attributed to the rise in the popularity of sunbathing over the past quarter-of-a-century rather than simply to reduced ozone levels.

Our Food Chain

Many biological systems are damaged by exposure to UV-B and research has shown that its effects are proportional to the time and intensity of exposure and of course, small and delicate organisms are much more vulnerable to damage than larger species, such as humans.

Exposure to higher levels of UV-B can stunt the growth and photosynthesis of a variety of crops such as maize, rye and sunflowers and can also affect the reproductive capacity of aquatic life. Many are already under UV-B stress, and if their exposure is further increased then we could see disruption of some food chains.

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I read the article it was great. I am using this source for my article about this for school. I credited you and everything Thank you!! (????)?
Kid_From_That_School - 5-Mar-17 @ 9:04 PM
Ice Age Explanation. Fluctuations in the amount of insolation (incoming solar radiation) are the most likely cause of large-scale changes in Earth's climate during the Quaternary. In other words, variations in the intensity and timing of heat from the sun are the most likely cause of the glacial/interglacial cycles. Now My predication from history is were causing our own ice age in the end no matter what From global warming causing the earth to melt more causing longer winters the only difference is the world won’t cool down because we produce still too much radiation so in 150 years – 1000 yearswe will have longer winters and too hot summer droughts on the equator or a global hot drought everywhere and no water left on the planet Yet we willget a full ice age still if radiation kills everyonesun radiation and if our ozone dies and dissipateswell then thecold of space will come in and heat doesn’t stay in our atmosphere so no matter what will freeze later on this planet due to the coldness of space weather no matter what melts in the south or north pole as long as we keep burning up our ozone layer then we get colder when its gone the question is what will survive the new ice age coming either after all the water on the planet dissipates or all the radiation and ozone layer fails.We have a guaranteed ice age. Facts the longer we pollute damage our ozone layercoldness of space is coming in to freeze the planet Fact The warming we make the planet the more damage we do and the faster the ice age will come Facts Earth has a way of resolving its self no matter what ozone layer dies no air stays in snow comes in and ice age begins. no one lives.Until snow melts and solar sun builds a new atmosphere over time restoring the natural ozone layer over years with heat melting the space cold air on the planet Or if human can melt the damaged ozone layer while space cold comes in can keep the repair process going as a counter battle in certain places but unlikely while living and sustaining themselves 80% chance 20 % of the population will survive or more if working together Prepare for colder winter and warmer summers and droughts in the equator lots more to come ;) We may freeze our own planet at the rate of ice age destroying the ozone bringing in space coldness and we ride the climate change If we don’t destroy the ozone layer well then well drought ourselves and have heat radiation and pollutionuntil we can bring the cold space in to repair the planet it’s an interesting dilemma we face as humans but yet wehave way better chances to survive a ice age Which the sun will do over time after we drought ourselves.My solution is wehave a better chance of survivingice age then we do sun radiation in space controlled domesbuilt on earth for living and melt the snow to live and breathe Vs have a long drought and not kill the ozone and atmospherefast enough and letting in space faster by rad
MR BRAINS - 27-Feb-17 @ 8:24 PM
From my understanding, Mars had a magnetic barrier, just as earth does now.The purpose of the magnetic barrier is to deflect the charged sun particles from directly hitting Earth.On Mars it has been proven that there were bodies of water.It has been proven that the Magnetic Barrier on Mars, which is the was the same as we have now, DROPPED, and the Sun, the charged sun particles, Scorched Mars and dried up all the bodies of water, lets just say it that way.From my understanding, it is possible that with a certain level of destruction to the ozone layer, that could indeed cause the magnetic barrier to drop, and then the Earth would end up just like Mars.It like they say, history repeats itself right.This would be classified as a natural disaster, but it is a natural disaster that was cause by Man.So in the End, Man would end up destroying the Earth, by a natural disaster that no one could have imagined.But, of course, everyone underground, or in lets say Iron Mountain out in U.S. California would be O.K. because Iron Mountain can withstand a direct atomic blast.Iron Mountain is basically a base which is a huge storage facility full of history, medical records and research, and basically everything they would need to start over.So I ask this, do you now argue that ozone layer depletion can't drop the magnetic barrier, or do you simply say, " something made it happen on mars, so something can make it happen here.Oh, by the way, they say enough atomic bombs going off can also drop the magnetic barrier.So my last words to everyone is,"Wake UP""Unite", "For the Mass multitude of the world United will run the World, and can make any change they want... there just won't be a peaceful way of getting there.
Kenny - 5-Jan-17 @ 8:09 AM
Ozone is formed when UV light and O2 meet. This interaction is what reduces UV strength and is protective. Ozone is a free radica, very unstable, therefore is destroyed by any molecule it comes in contact with, even Ozone itself. Until you have no sunlight or oxygen we will always have ozone. So don't spend any time worrying about depletion, it can't happen.The idea of dangerous ozone thinning by CFC's is a scientific fabrication.These "holes" persa are only seasonal areas when the arctic tips do not get much sunlight so less O3 is formed, they have always been there and always will. The Montreal Treaty banning CFC's is one of the reasons people cannot earn a living wage as it and other restrictions increase the cost of goods which affect the poor the most.Get rid of the ban.
Steve - 24-Dec-16 @ 11:20 PM
I'm very confused as to what might happen if the ozone layer becomes depleted with regards to sunburns. Also how are UV light(rays) are harmful to humans, amphibians, marine life, and land plants.
Clinton - 2-Nov-16 @ 9:16 PM
aerosol cans have been outlawed here in usa. that's a great start. Everyone knows deep down that nuclear is the way to go, we just have to make a nuclearproduct maker in outerspace, then we can just ship up the uranium to make it. everyone could get a pebble of uranium and use it in every car they own for generations of people. nuclear is definitely the way to go. it's the most powerful thing we've ever created. i hope one day we get flying cars. once we can defy gravity, it will use so little power to go to outer-space, it will use so little material, it would be hard to even see any pollution! that's why i want to make my own government. be science based.
R*StaRaptoR - 4-Oct-16 @ 10:27 PM
I am certain interested in the ozone layer depletion. Is there anything a person on earth can do as an individual? For instance, can the planting of trees benefit the ozone / smog. Is there a policy that can be created?
Bonkres - 11-Apr-16 @ 8:35 PM
superray - Your Question:
We are all in this together , know should we rally together in mass protest , we may just wake up those who sit idely buy obsorbed in making their living and doughting the rout cause of the ozone depleation that is Geo engineering and Arisol filled skies , it is like the days of Noa every one believing if they keep on partying Hardy it will all go away , I have never seen such lack of concern for our fellow man.

Our Response:
Many thanks for your interesting comments.
OzoneDepletion - 6-Apr-16 @ 10:29 AM
We are all in this together , know should we rally together in mass protest , we may just wake up those who sit idely buy obsorbed in making their living and doughting the rout cause of the ozone depleation that is Geo engineering and Arisol filled skies , it is like the days of Noa every one believing if they keep on partying Hardy it will all go away , I have never seen such lack of concern for our fellow man .
superray - 5-Apr-16 @ 2:03 AM
Who wrote this article? Also who else has written articles on this?
Ryan - 1-Feb-16 @ 8:09 PM
How do I know if this is a reliable website?
Ryan - 29-Jan-16 @ 4:26 AM
sentinel - Your Question:
Well, if uv rays damage the food chain then there will be disaster among the living organisns and cause severe threat to human beings which leads everyone to fight for their survival.in such conditions our whole system gets shattered and it leads into a revolution and at last a final world war.there is only one way to stop this.

Our Response:
Many thanks for your comments.
OzoneDepletion - 6-Jan-16 @ 3:07 PM
well, if uv rays damage the food chain then there will be disaster among the living organisns and cause severe threat to human beings which leads everyone to fight for their survival .in such conditions our whole system gets shattered and it leads into a revolution and at last a final world war.there is only one way to stop this.
sentinel - 6-Jan-16 @ 5:46 AM
Not sure if it has been fixed but the typo mentioned above doesn't exist.It is sun-creamnot sun-screen
Harry - 11-Nov-15 @ 2:22 AM
well this post in very interesting but shaung there is to much pressure under the sea fro us to live there any ways but we as humans would have to be so technologically advanced to build such a structure under the water then how do we build it so therefor we cant build a city under the water for a long time
thebillmister - 7-Nov-15 @ 6:04 PM
When was this article written? please respond
Tia - 20-Oct-15 @ 11:54 AM
Whatvwill happens if the UV rays attacked to the daily life public suddenly...? And what the people will cause it from at that time?
satvik - 16-Jul-15 @ 8:52 AM
Sorry, but there is a typo. It's not a huge deal. But can be easily fixed. In "Good News" Sunscreen was spelled Sunscream.
Molf44 - 9-Feb-15 @ 9:58 PM
Since you said that the uv under water won't go far in defth what if we live under water in the deepest spot. ;)
shaung - 6-Feb-15 @ 4:47 PM
The information you had given is very amazing and you can even have some more new points and iformation regarding many things this one you can impliment
Harsha - 9-Sep-14 @ 4:43 PM
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