The Physics
Factbook
An encyclopedia of scientific essays

Altitude of the Ozone Layer

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Bibliographic Entry Result
(w/surrounding text)
Standardized
Result
Milli, Tyler. Environmental Science. California: Wadson, 1995: 213. "ozone layer, between 17 and 26 km (11-16 miles) above sea level" 17–26 km
Bookshelf 94 Encyclopedia. Ozone Layer. New York: Columbia University, 1994. "ozone, located at altitude of 12-30 mi (19-48 km) above the earth's surface" 19–48 km
Gutnik, Martin. The Greenhouse Effect. Connecticut: Millbrook, 1991: 11. "ozone layer, extends from 10 to 40 miles above the Earth's surface" 16–64 km
spoz9798thumb.jpg. Climate Monitoring and Diagnostics Laboratory, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. [max. 15 km] 15 km
Baines, John. Concerning the Atmosphere.Texas: Stech-Vaught, 1989: 30. "10-13 miles above the surface of the earth there is a narrow layer less than a few miles thick" 16–21 km

The ozone layer, which is a region of the upper atmosphere, containing a relatively high concentration of ozone that absorbs solar ultraviolet radiation in a wavelength range not screened by other atmospheric components. Ozone is an allotropic form of molecular oxygen consisting of three atoms of oxygen instead of the more common two. Pure ozone is an unstable, faintly bluish gas with a characteristic fresh, penetrating odor. It is the most chemically active form of oxygen. While doing this project I found a lot of different measurements. Every source showed different value.

Even though I expected to get a lot of variety, I didn't expect them to be so different from each other. The likely reason for this is that each measurement of the ozone layer was taken at a different time and location.

The ozone layer is part of the stratosphere and is very important because it blocks 99% of the ultraviolet radiation from the sun. The ozone layer is in now danger because of the careless attitude of humans. It has been shown that the ozone layer has been getting thinner. Holes caused by chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) have formed in ozone layer. CFCs are found in aerosol cans, air conditioners, refrigerators, and plastic foams.

In my opinion there is no accurate answer only estimates between 9–64 kilometers. No one can measure the altitude of the ozone layer as a whole, because no one knows where it begins or ends. Also, I believe the name "ozone layer"is wrong. In my opinion it should be "ozone region".

Dmitry Khodorskiy -- 1999