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Systematic name Trioxygen
Other names Triatomic Oxygen
Molecular formula O3
Molar mass 47.998 g/mol-1
Appearance Bluish colored gas
CAS number 10028-15-6
Density and phase 47.998 g/ml-1
Solubility in water .105 g/100 ml-1 (0°C)
Melting point -192.5°C80.65 K
-314.5 °F
145.17 °R
Boiling point -111.9°C161.25 K
-169.42 °F
290.25 °R
Viscosity 1.56±0.2 cP at 183.0°C
Molecular shape Bent

Ozone is a bluish green gas that consists of 3 oxygen atoms. At ground level ozone acts as a pollutant, but in the atmosphere it is a very important greenhouse gas. It is the only gas that has an entire layer of the earth's atmosphere full of it. Without ozone, it is very likely that life on earth could not and would not exist[1].



Ozone is a triatomic molecule of oxygen. It is present most predominately in our atmosphere here on Earth. The gas in itself is poisonous[2]. It is found naturally as a blue colored gas with an easily identifiable odor.

Ozone is produced two ways. The first is from radiation from ultra violet rays. At altitudes of around 30 kilometers oxygen is formed as a diatomic molecule. The newly formed oxygen molecules are then stricken by the suns rays causing them to split. They then recombine with other particles. The split oxygen molecules, now just a single atom of oxygen, combines with an O2 molecule to form Ozone.

Another way that ozone can be formed is from the reactions of chemicals such as hydrocarbons or nitrous oxide with sunlight. This basic reaction creates smog. The chemicals in smog are products found in the exhaust pipes of cars. They are pollutants and can cause crop damage and in some cases breathing disorders.


The different layers of the Earth's atmosphere

The majority of the naturally occurring ozone on Earth is concentrated in a layer of our atmosphere in the stratosphere aptly named the Ozone Layer. This layer serves as a shield from harmful radiation produced by ultraviolet rays (UV rays) from the sun. Another important role that the ozone layer plays is as a greenhouse layer. Ozone itself is a greenhouse gas[3], a greenhouse gas is a gas that absorbs and emits radiation[4]. This trait makes ozone a vital part of Earth's climate. This section of the stratosphere contains around 90% of Earth's Ozone[5]. This makes the Ozone Layer one of the most vital parts of our Earth's atmosphere


There are many applicable uses of Ozone in the world today. It has been used as a powerful disinfectant. It is 25 times more powerful than hypochlorous acid and is around 500 times faster as well! It is often used to oxidize and disinfect water sources. In fact, it is currently the most powerful oxidizer of water available today[6]. It is such a powerful disinfectant that it can change the color, odor, and even the taste of drinking water by removing some of the impurities that cause problems in these areas.

The most important uses of Ozone is in our atmosphere. Ozone is whats called a greenhouse gas. That means it helps keep the heat and energy inside the Earth's atmosphere inside. This makes it extremely important in our climate. Without Ozone it is very likely that all the water surfaces on our planet would always be frozen over because all the heat would just escape the atmosphere.

Another important function of Ozone in the Earth's atmosphere is, filtering out Ultra Violet rays from the sun. These rays are very dangerous to humans. Damage is caused to the eyes and skin when exposed to UV rays for too long. UV rays cause skin cancer and cataracts. Without Ozone we would all develop these disorders much quicker.[7]

Concerns about the Ozone Layer

The estimated air temperature increase from 1960 to 2060.

One of the major concerns about the Ozone Layer is the hole in the layer above Antarctica. At this point there are even possibilities of mini holes in the Ozone layer developing in the mid latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere[8]. Many think that these holes are causing a phenomenon called global warming. This is a very hot topic in the world of science today. The concern began with a documentary released in 2006 called "An Inconvenient Truth" directed by Al Gore. This movie showcased the repercussions of global warming. Most of the world is now pointing fingers at the United States. Many secular scientists believe that global warming is caused by pollution caused by humans. In fact, in the movie Al Gore claimed that if the global temperature continues to rise at the rate that it is now, it would melt the ice caps completely and cause major changes in climate[9].

While many secular based scientist are blaming humanity for global warming, creationist scientists are testing their theories. Many creationists believe that global warming is not being caused by humans, but by a trend that has been occurring over an extended period of time. Secular scientists regularly run virtual tests on global temperature. They double the amount of carbon dioxide emissions and see how much the earth's temperature increases. Creationists call this method inaccurate because the measurements are based on guesses and assumptions rather than real facts[10]. No matter what the real reason behind global warming is, it is affecting our earth. Whether it is going to ruin the earths climate is debatable, but it is very important that we maintain our vital resources in order to survive.


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