The hole in the ozone layer, while an important concern, does not really have anything to do with global warming one way or the other. Though often confused with one another, ozone depletion and global warming are two completely separate problems. The gas ozone, found in the upper atmosphere, protects us from many of the sun’s ultraviolet rays, and is essential to the healthy existence of life on Earth. The chlorine and bromine-based chemicals that contribute to ozone depletion are now being phased out of use around the world thanks to an international treaty called the Montreal Protocol – but it will take years to repair damage already done to the ozone layer, so the hole above Antarctica continues to be a problem. Global warming, on the other hand, is not caused by ozone or ozone depletion, but by carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping greenhouse gases – most of which come from burning fossil fuels, deforestation, and industrial agriculture. Global warming and depletion of the ozone layer are both important issues that affect our atmosphere and the entire planet; but they concern different gases, and are not closely related.
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