Ozone Layer Losing More in Winter

April 12, 2011

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. layer (n.) [ley-er]  – the thickness of a substance or material
Example: The three layers of cake are delicious!

2. vulnerable (adj.) [vuhl-ner-uh-buhl] – open to or without protection against danger
Example: Without the skin, our body is vulnerable to diseases.

3. enactment (n.) [en-akt-muhnt] – the act of putting into action a certain law or agreement
Example: The government cancelled the enactment of the new tax law.

4. phase out (idiom) [feyz-out]– to gradually end the existence of something
Example: Because people can watch shows online, the television might be phased out in the future.

Read the text below.

The ozone layer in the Arctic has lost as much as 40% during the last winter season.

UN weather agency said that extreme cold temperature in the stratosphere, the second layer of the atmosphere containing the ozone layer and the presence of chemicals harmful to it caused it to be destroyed.

Although the temperature at the ground level of the Arctic region was warmer than the average, it was recorded to be colder in the stratosphere.

Experts claimed they had expected the loss because this happens normally when the stratosphere has very low temperature.

The highest loss previously recorded during winter season was around 30%.

On the other hand, the ozone layer continues to be vulnerable to harmful substances like chlorofluorocarbons and halons despite the enactment of an agreement that bans the use of these said substances.

An environmental agreement signed in 1987 phased out these kinds of chemicals used in everyday products like refrigerators and spray cans. However, these chemicals have remained in the atmosphere for years causing the slow recovery of the ozone layer.

In the case of the loss caused by the cold temperature, experts advise to remain alert on any significant changes on the condition in Artic in the coming years.

The loss in the ozone layer is a big concern because this layer is responsible for filtering the harmful rays of the sun which can cause skin cancer, eye defects and damages to some plants and animals.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A

·         What are some environmental changes which you think are natural?
·         How do you think we should respond to these natural changes?

Discussion B

·         How do environmental agreements between countries help improve the environment?
·         Can you think of an agreement that should be established in order to protect the environment?

April 12, 2011