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Ozone Destruction

Once in the stratosphere, the chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) molecules are no longer shielded from ultraviolet radiation by the ozone layer. Bombarded by the Sun's ultraviolet energy, CFC molecules break up and release their chlorine atoms. The free chlorine atoms then can react with ozone molecules, taking one oxygen atom to form chlorine monoxide and leaving an ordinary oxygen molecule.

Robert Simmon, NASA GSFC

Published July 30, 1999
Data acquired July 30, 1999

Atmosphere > Atmospheric Chemistry > Chlorine Monoxide
Atmosphere > Atmospheric Chemistry > Ozone
Atmosphere > Radiation Budget > Ultraviolet Radiation