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Stratospheric ozone (the ozone layer) is beneficial because it absorbs dangerous high-energy ultraviolet light. It extends anywhere from 4 to 12 miles (6 to 20 km) above Earth's surface up to 31 miles (50 km). Ozone is a highly reactive molecule comprised of three oxygen atoms that occurs naturally in small amounts. This is the layer where most commercial airliners fly and weather balloons travel to. Find out what caused the ozone hole, and how the 1989 Montreal Protocol sought to put an end to ozone depletion. Visit other layers in Earth's atmosphere. Fixing the ozone hole is a matter of ensuring that no ozone-depleting gases reach the stratosphere. The stratosphere is where you’ll find the very important ozone layer. With a weakening of this shield, we would be more susceptible to … The stratospheric ozone layer protects life on Earth by absorbing ultraviolet light, which damages DNA in plants and animals (including humans) and leads to sunburns and skin cancer. The Stratosphere: Ozone's Home . Most ozone resides in the stratosphere (a layer of the atmosphere between 10 and 40 km above us), where it acts as a shield to protect Earth's surface from the sun's harmful ultraviolet radiation. Most ozone (about 90%) resides in a layer that begins between 6 and 10 miles (10 and 17 kilometers) above the Earth's surface and extends up to about 30 miles (50 kilometers). The easiest way to think about the atmosphere above our planet is to imagine an invisible shield that protects our planet from all … Ozone occurs both in the Earth's upper atmosphere and at ground level. Life as we know it wouldn’t be possible without this layer of protection. The emission of ozone depleting substances has been damaging the ozone layer. What helped correct ozone layer thinning? The stratosphere is the next layer of the atmosphere. View the latest status of the ozone layer over the Antarctic, with a focus on the ozone hole. In fact, the ozone layer absorbs most of the UV radiation the sun sends to us. The ozone layer, the one that protects us from radiation that comes from the Sun and outer space, is found in the stratosphere. Called stratospheric ozone, good ozone occurs naturally in the upper atmosphere, where it forms a protective layer that shields us from the sun's harmful ultraviolet rays. Satellite instruments monitor the ozone layer, and we use their data to create the images that depict the amount of ozone. The stratospheric ozone layer, roughly 7 to 25 miles above Earth’s surface, is a natural sunscreen, absorbing harmful ultraviolet radiation that can damage plants and animals and affect people by causing cataracts, skin cancer and suppressed immune systems. Ozone is mainly found in two regions of the Earth's atmosphere. Ozone can be good or bad, depending on where it is found. In 1987, the United Nations established the Montreal Protocol to regulate the quantities of these gases in the atmosphere. But through domestic and international action, the ozone layer is … The stratospheric ozone layer is Earth’s “sunscreen” – protecting living things from too much ultraviolet radiation from the sun. Ozone is also found much nearer the ground, in the troposphere, the lowest level of Earth’s atmosphere. The ozone layer helps protect us from ultraviolet radiation (UV) from the sun. The ozone layer helps to protect life from harmful ultraviolet radiation. Prior to 1979, scientists had not observed atmospheric ozone concentrations below 220 Dobson Units. Click any map image to bring up a new page with a high-resolution image. ) is beneficial because it absorbs dangerous high-energy ultraviolet light commercial airliners fly and weather balloons travel to ultraviolet. 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