In the stratosphere, the region of the Earth's atmosphere from 6 to 30 miles (10 to 50 kilometers) above the surface, the chemical compound ozone plays a vital role in absorbing harmful ultraviolet radiation from the sun. During the past 20 years, concentrations of this important compound have been threatened by human-made gases released into the atmosphere, including those known as CFCs. These chemical compounds as well as meteorological conditions in the stratosphere affect the concentration of stratospheric ozone.
NOAA uses satellite, airborne and ground-based systems to continuously monitor stratospheric ozone as well as the chemical compounds and atmospheric conditions that affect its concentration. NOAA's Aeronomy Laboratory, Climate Monitoring and Diagnostics Laboratory, Climate Prediction Center and the National Climatic Data Center are actively involved in monitoring and research, which enhances the scientific understanding of ozone and the processes affecting its concentration in the stratosphere. This site provides information on these NOAA organizations, links to current and historical stratospheric ozone and climate data as well as information on the science of ozone. A list of NOAA representatives, recent ozone-related press releases and frequently asked questions are also provided via the pull-down menu on their site.