COVID-19 lockdowns linked to pollution spikes in some cities

Lockdowns last year in response to COVID-19 resulted in drastic cuts to emissions, especially from vehicle tailpipes, and yet some urban areas saw a paradoxical spike in ozone air pollution. A new study led by the National ...

Ozone pollution harms maize crops, study finds

Although stratospheric ozone protects us by filtering out the sun's ultraviolet radiation, tropospheric ozone is a harmful pollutant. A new study has shown that ozone in the lower layers of the atmosphere decreases crop yields ...

COVID-19 lockdown highlights ozone chemistry in China

In early 2020, daily life in Northern China slammed to a halt as the region entered a strict period of lockdown to slow the spread of COVID-19. Emissions from transportation and industry plummeted. Emissions of nitrogen oxides ...

Life from Earth could temporarily survive on Mars

Some microbes on Earth could temporarily survive on the surface of Mars, finds a new study by NASA and German Aerospace Center scientists. The researchers tested the endurance of microorganisms to Martian conditions by launching ...

Ozone pollution levels dropped early in pandemic

During spring and summer of 2020, ozone at 1-8 kilometers (0.6-5 miles) above Earth's surface fell by 7% on average across the Northern Hemisphere, a new study finds. The decrease is likely explained by curtailed transportation ...

Measuring ozone chemistry in an occupied residence

An international team of researchers has taken a look at the amount of ozone in an occupied residence in order to measure both ozone and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) associated with chemical reactions with ozone. In ...

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Ozone

Ozone or trioxygen (O3) is a triatomic molecule, consisting of three oxygen atoms. It is an allotrope of oxygen that is much less stable than the diatomic O2. Ground-level ozone is an air pollutant with harmful effects on the respiratory systems of animals. The ozone layer in the upper atmosphere filters potentially damaging ultraviolet light from reaching the Earth's surface. It is present in low concentrations throughout the Earth's atmosphere. It has many industrial and consumer applications.

Ozone, the first allotrope of a chemical element to be recognized by science, was proposed as a distinct chemical compound by Christian Friedrich Schönbein in 1840, who named it after the Greek verb ozein (ὄζειν, "to smell"), from the peculiar odor in lightning storms. The formula for ozone, O3, was not determined until 1865 by Jacques-Louis Soret and confirmed by Schönbein in 1867.

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