Critique Molina and Rowland's hypothesis of ozone depletion as to its strengths and weaknesses?
- ?Lv 77 years agoFavorite Answer
Molina and Rowland discovered that some CFCs decompose in sunlight, eventally releasing chlorine atoms in the ozone layer.
One chlorine atom can catalytically convert an ozone molecule to oxygen, and then continue to attack other ozone molecules for an average of two years before it drifts to a lower level of the atmosphere where it is no longer in contact with the ozone layer.
Molina and Rowland’s findings were published in 1974 and were later confirmed by scientists around the world, including the British Antarctic Survey in 1986. This led to the Montreal Protocol of 1987 that banned the use CFCs in many countries.
The major weakness of their hypothesis is their failure to take into consideration the vast amount of newly formed ozone that is released into the atmosphere every day by manufacturing processes such as those used in cross-linking polyethylene and by natural phenomena such as lightning. Another weakness is the inadequate explanation of how the periodic changes in the "hole" in the ozone layer began occurring decades before CFCs were in common use and before this issue was publicized by the media. The complex motion of chlorine atoms drifting in the upper regions of Earth's atmosphere is also somewhat puzzling and unexplained.