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Atmospheric Iodine Will Destroy bad Ozone

Atmospheric Iodine Will Destroy bad Ozone


GS 3 ||Environment ||Climate Change ||Ozone Depletion

Why in News:

  • Iodine is increasing in the Atmosphere and it is destroying the bad ozone.

Iodine’s Effect over the Bad Ozone:

  • Analysis of iodine trapped in Alpine () ice has shown that levels of atmospheric iodine have tripled over the past century, which partially offsets human-driven increases in the air pollutant, ozone.
  • Cities and places where vehicles are more in quantity, those regions will emit more hydrocarbons and thus leading to form more Bad Ozone. Bad Ozone is not only deleterious for the atmosphere but also for the human life.
  • The study showed, however that, althoughiodine can destroy ‘bad’ ozone, there isn’t enough to counter all of the production.
  • Analysis of the Alpine ice, by scientists, shows that iodine concentration began to increase after the Second World War following the growth in motor vehicles and electricity generation.
  • Nitrogen oxide emissions from vehicles and power plants since the 1950s increases surface ozone, and this reacts with chemicals in seawater to release more iodine into the atmosphere, which partially, but not completely, destroys some of these harmful gases.
  • “Iodine’s role in human health has been recognised for some time—it is an essential part of our diets.
  • “Its role in climate change and air pollution, however, has only been recently recognised,.
  • The study in the European Alps has now provided new long-term insight into the delicate balance of ozone in the atmosphere.
  • Ozone in the lower atmosphere acts as an air pollutant and greenhouse gas, but ozone is also the main driver of iodine emissions from the ocean. Once released into the atmosphere iodine acts to destroy this ‘bad’ ozone.
  • The more ozone humans produce, the more iodine is released from the ocean which can then help destroy the ozone produced by humans. This means that iodine levels in the ocean can, at least partially, act to keep ozone gases in the lower atmosphere in check, but there isn’t enough to counter all of the production.


  • Countries with Alps – Primarily with 2 countries : Austria and Switzerland But, France, Monaco, Italy, Liechtenstein, Germany, and Slovenia are also within the vicinity of Alps.
  • Peak – Mont Blanc (4808m/15,771 ft)
  • Length – 1200 Km, Width – 250Km