What Role Does Ozone-Layer Depletion Play?

Updated February 11, 2017 | Infoplease Staff

The ozone layer shields the earth from the sun's harmful UV rays. Over the past ten years, scientists worldwide have recorded decreasing levels of ozone in the atmosphere. Less ozone means that more UV radiation reaches earth, increasing the danger of sun damage. The cause of the ozone depletion is under debate, but scientists agree that future levels of ozone will depend upon a combination of natural and man-made factors, including the phase-out of chlorofluorocarbons and other ozone-depleting chemicals.