Recent research has found that Ozone layer depletion does not cause global warming, however both of these environmental issues have a common cause: human activities that release pollutants into the atmosphere altering it.
For years people have thought that using spray deodorants and squirty cream were heating up the planet slowly but fear not, your armpits no longer have to smell and your hot chocolates can now be topped with as much delicious topping as you wish, because many products no longer use the suspect CFCs gasses.
Hot chocolate aside, Ozone makes up the higher band of the atmosphere and absorbs ultraviolet radiation. Ultraviolet radiation is a type of solar energy that's harmful to humans, animals and plants and it's this which is causing the issues for the majority of people down on Earth.
So What Is Causing The Issue In More Detail?
There is something a lot of people call the 'Ozone hole’ it's a large area of depleted ozone layer over Earth's polar regions which, which you can see below. People, plants, and animals living under the ozone holes area are harmed by the solar radiation reaching the Earth's surface which causes eye damage, skin cancer and more.
CFCs and halons, usually found in aerosols, cause chemical reactions that break down these ozone molecules, reducing ozone's ultraviolet radiation absorbing capacity. UV radiation plays a very small role in global warming because its quantity is not enough to cause the excess heat trapped in the atmosphere.
But What About The Weather?
Since the 1960s, there has been a trend of greenhouse gases increasing heat in the lower atmosphere, called the troposphere, a cooling is occurring in the upper atmosphere called the stratosphere.
This warming-cooling dynamic creates conditions that lead to more ozone loss. This is largely because heat from Earth's surface would normally convey through the troposphere and stratosphere and eventually escape to space is now being trapped and confined to the troposphere like a giant blanket.
Carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases rise into the atmosphere and spread around the globe, again like this blanket wrapping Earth. This blanket warms the surface of the Earth and protects it from the cold air above it.
However, now wrapped in a thicker blanket, Earth’s surface warms up and heats the blanket itself and traps more heat in the lower atmosphere. The blanket also unfortunately prevents heat from moving from the lower atmosphere to the stratosphere, cooling down the stratosphere as a result.
Heat-trapping gases contribute to creating the cooling conditions in the atmosphere that lead to further ozone depletion. Greenhouse gases absorb heat at relatively low altitudes and warm the surface, but they have the opposite effect in higher altitudes because they prevent heat from rising.
In a cooler stratosphere, ozone loss creates a cooling effect which results in further ozone depletion. UV radiation releases heat into the stratosphere when it reacts with ozone. With less ozone there is less heat released, amplifying the cooling in the lower stratosphere, and enhancing the formation of ozone-depleting polar stratospheric clouds, especially near the South Pole.
For those inclined below is a brilliant diagram by Research Gate.
These clouds are found at altitudes of 15,000–25,000 m. One main type of these clouds are made up mostly of supercooled droplets of water and nitric acid and is implicated in the formation of ozone holes.
The other main type consists only of frozen ice crystals and is not considered harmful. This type of PSC is also referred to as nacreous from nacre, or mother of pearl, due to its iridescence.