Life as we know it wouldn’t be possible without this layer of protection. 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. 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. Find out what caused the ozone hole, and how the 1989 Montreal Protocol sought to put an end to ozone depletion. The ozone layer, the one that protects us from radiation that comes from the Sun and outer space, is found in the stratosphere. View the latest status of the ozone layer over the Antarctic, with a focus on the ozone hole. Ozone is a highly reactive molecule comprised of three oxygen atoms that occurs naturally in small amounts. Ozone occurs both in the Earth's upper atmosphere and at ground level. 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. It extends anywhere from 4 to 12 miles (6 to 20 km) above Earth's surface up to 31 miles (50 km). Visit other layers in Earth's atmosphere. In fact, the ozone layer absorbs most of the UV radiation the sun sends to us. The ozone layer helps protect us from ultraviolet radiation (UV) from the sun. The stratospheric ozone layer is Earth’s “sunscreen” – protecting living things from too much ultraviolet radiation from the sun. Ozone can be good or bad, depending on where it is found. 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. The stratosphere is the next layer of the atmosphere. With a weakening of this shield, we would be more susceptible to … But through domestic and international action, the ozone layer is … In 1987, the United Nations established the Montreal Protocol to regulate the quantities of these gases in the atmosphere. Ozone is mainly found in two regions of the Earth's atmosphere. The easiest way to think about the atmosphere above our planet is to imagine an invisible shield that protects our planet from all … 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 emission of ozone depleting substances has been damaging the ozone layer. Ozone is also found much nearer the ground, in the troposphere, the lowest level of Earth’s atmosphere. What helped correct ozone layer thinning? Prior to 1979, scientists had not observed atmospheric ozone concentrations below 220 Dobson Units. 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