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I have read that Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) are detrimental to the Ozone layer. How exactly? Wasn't Mount Erebus shooting thousands of tons of chlorine per day into the upper atmosphere and over to Anatartica in the 70s with no effect to the ozone layer?

How was it proven that CFCs destroy Ozone?

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  • 2
    BTW questions like these are better suited for Earth Science, but not in this form.
    – user2451
    Commented Aug 24, 2016 at 9:25
  • 1
    Or Skeptics SE, but also not in this form
    – THelper
    Commented Aug 24, 2016 at 10:53

1 Answer 1

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Yes - CFCs interact with and break down ozone.

It's basic chemistry:

interaction of CFCs and UV radiation, breaking down O3 into O2

CFCs are lifted by buoyancy into the stratosphere, where they are broken up by the sun's ultraviolet radiation (1), and the chlorine then reacts with ozone (2), with equation:

Cl + O3 → ClO + O2 (3)

Then that chlorine monoxide reacts with atmospheric oxygen: (4)

ClO + O → Cl + O2

and so the chlorine can go on to damage more ozone, again and again. (5)

source: UCAR

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