Ozone vs Greenhouse Gases: Difference and Comparison

In the past 50 years, climate change has merged as a very major concern for the entire human civilization, and whenever this phenomenon is discussed, certain terms are used very casually.

Ozone and greenhouse gases are two such terms used in reference to climate change, but in reality, there are so many differences between these two terms. 

Key Takeaways

  1. Ozone is a gas composed of three oxygen atoms, while greenhouse gases include carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and water vapor.
  2. Ozone in the stratosphere protects Earth from harmful ultraviolet radiation, but it acts as a harmful air pollutant at ground level.
  3. Greenhouse gases trap heat in the Earth’s atmosphere, causing global warming and climate change.

Ozone vs Greenhouse Gases 

Ozone is a gas that occurs naturally in the atmosphere and helps to protect the Earth from harmful UV radiation. However, at ground level, ozone can be harmful to human health and the environment. Greenhouse gases trap heat in the atmosphere and contribute to global warming and climate change.

Ozone vs Greenhouse Gases

Three molecules of Oxygen, when mixed in one, create a specific gas known as Ozone. This particular gas is known as a shield of the earth, and the layer of Ozone that is present up in the atmosphere stops harmful rays of the sun from reaching the earth.

However, this gas in itself is a part of term greenhouse gases. 

While on the other hand, certain gases that are present in the atmosphere and eventually work to trap heat inside the environment of the earth are known as greenhouse gases.

While on one side, these gases are very crucial in order to maintain the temperature of the earth. When used in excess, they create disturbance in the natural temperature. 

Comparison Table

Parameters of Comparison Ozone  Greenhouse Gases 
Meaning  The term refers to an atmospheric gas that is present in the stratosphere as a layer. This is an umbrella term that comprises many gases like ozone, CO2, etc. 
Made up of  It is made up of a total of three molecules of Oxygen. It is made of many gases like carbon dioxide, ozone, and water vapor. 
Interrelation  This is a part of greenhouse gases. This category in itself includes ozone as a part of it. 
Function  This gas blocks the harmful ultraviolet radiations that emerge from the sun. These gases maintain the temperature of the earth and trap heat from within. 
Present as It is present as a layer in the stratosphere. It is present in form of many gases. 

What is Ozone? 

In terms of physical making, Ozone is simply a gas that comes into formation after three molecules of oxygen come together. Not only this gas is soluble in water, but certain other substances can also dissolve this gas into them.

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Apart from being known as a gas simply, this is more like a shield or cover to earth. 

Approximately 50 kilometers up in the atmosphere, this particular gas is found as a layer at a place known as the stratosphere. The biggest reason for calling this particular gas a shield of the earth is that it blocks the sun rays and filters out all the harmful radiations that are extremely dangerous to the ecosystem of the earth.

Specifically, ultraviolet and Ultra-red rays are filtered out by this particular layer known as the ozone layer. 

However, in the past 50 years, this layer has been seen to be destroyed by certain human-induced activities such as the generation of harmful chemicals like chlorofluorocarbons, etc.

These chemicals are known to dissolve ozone in themselves, and eventually, they have created a significant hole in the layer of ozone.

Today there are many countries and scientific organizations working together in order to bring back the original quality of ozone in the atmosphere. 

ozone

What are Greenhouse Gases? 

A bundle of gases present in the atmosphere that work in asynchrony in order to trap the heat within the earth is known as greenhouse gases.

A significant amount of this term is made up of certain gases such as water vapor, carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, methane, and ozone. 

In other words, all these gases, when mixed together in order to trap heat within the earth, are known as greenhouse gases. The very reason why these gases are in place is that these are responsible for maintaining and balancing the temperature of the earth but aggravated by human activities and another natural phenomenon, these gases today emit a lot of radiation and increase the temperature of the earth at a larger extent than what is actually needed. 

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Eventually, when all of this temperature is caught up within the boundaries of the earth and somehow gets reflected towards the surface of the earth, it causes certain environmental factors to change.

For example, when this heat comes back to the surface, it melts down the polar ice and eventually raises the water level of the oceans.

This particular effect is known as the greenhouse effect, and many scientists today are working in order to minimize the negative impact of this effect. 

greenhouse gases

Main Differences Between Ozone and Greenhouse Gases 

  1. Ozone is a term that refers to an atmospheric gas that is present in the stratosphere, while on the other hand, Greenhouse Gases is an umbrella term that comprises many gases like ozone, CO2, etc. 
  2. Ozone is present as a layer, while on the other hand, Greenhouse Gases are present in the form of many gases. 
  3. Ozone blocks harmful rays coming out of the sun, while on the other hand, Greenhouse Gases maintain the temperature of the earth and trap heat from within. 
  4. Ozone is made up of three molecules of Oxygen, while on the other hand, Greenhouse Gases are made up of many gases like carbon dioxide, water vapor, and ozone. 
  5. Ozone is a gas that falls under the purview of Greenhouse Gases. 
Difference Between Ozone and Greenhouse Gases

References  

  1. https://www.osti.gov/biblio/7148321 
  2. https://www.jstor.org/stable/26058603  

Last Updated : 12 July, 2023

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