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Unveiling the Mystery of the Ozone Hole: IELTS Reading Passage with Questions & Answers

Updated on 11 November, 2023

Kanika Pruthi

Kanika Pruthi

Sr. Content Writer & Study Abroad Expert

The phenomenon of the ozone hole has been a subject of intense scientific study and environmental concern for decades. The ozone layer, a protective shield in the Earth's stratosphere, absorbs the majority of the sun's harmful ultraviolet radiation. Without this layer, life as we know it would be drastically different, with increased radiation having severe implications for ecosystems, human health, and the planet's climate.

The term "ozone hole" refers to the dramatic thinning of the ozone layer over Antarctica, first observed in the late 20th century. This depletion is primarily caused by the release of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and other ozone-depleting substances (ODS) used in industrial applications and consumer products.

Scientists began to notice unusual decreases in the ozone concentration, which led to the discovery of the ozone hole in the 1980s. The international community responded with the Montreal Protocol, an agreement to phase out the production and consumption of ODS. This treaty is often cited as one of the most successful international environmental agreements, with the ozone layer showing signs of recovery in recent years.

However, the road to recovery is long and fraught with challenges. Factors such as climate change and continued ODS emissions threaten to delay or even reverse the progress made. The interplay between the ozone layer and global environmental systems is complex, and ongoing research is crucial to fully understand and mitigate the impacts.

The journey of the ozone layer from discovery to recovery is not just a scientific tale but a narrative of global cooperation and the power of informed policy-making. It serves as an example of how concerted global action can address environmental crises.



Q1. What does the ozone layer primarily absorb?

A. Oxygen

B. Carbon dioxide

C. Ultraviolet radiation

D. Infrared radiation

Q2. The ozone hole refers to __________.

(Fill in the blank)

Q3. True or False: CFCs are beneficial to the ozone layer.


Q4. In which decade was the ozone hole discovered?

A. 1970s

B. 1980s

C. 1990s

D. 2000s

Q5. The Montreal Protocol is an international agreement that aims to __________.

(Fill in the blank)

Q6. True or False: The ozone layer has shown no signs of recovery since the implementation of the Montreal Protocol.


Q7. What are the primary causes of ozone depletion?

A. Greenhouse gases

B. Ozone-depleting substances

C. Carbon emissions

D. Water vapor

Q8. True or False: The discovery of the ozone hole led to immediate international action.


Q9. Which of the following is a consequence of a depleted ozone layer?

A. Increased agricultural productivity

B. Lower sea levels

C. Increased ultraviolet radiation

D. Decreased global temperatures

Q10. The success of the Montreal Protocol highlights the importance of __________.

(Fill in the blank)


A1. C. Ultraviolet radiation

Explanation: The ozone layer's primary function is to absorb most of the sun's ultraviolet radiation, protecting living organisms from its harmful effects.

A2. Dramatic thinning of the ozone layer over Antarctica

Explanation: The term "ozone hole" specifically refers to the significant reduction in ozone concentration above the Antarctic region.

A3. False

Explanation: CFCs are harmful to the ozone layer; they are one of the primary ozone-depleting substances responsible for its depletion.

A4. B. 1980s

Explanation: The ozone hole was discovered in the 1980s when scientists observed significant decreases in ozone concentration above Antarctica.

A5. Phase out the production and consumption of ozone-depleting substances

Explanation: The Montreal Protocol was established to eliminate the use of substances that contribute to ozone depletion, such as CFCs.

A6. False

Explanation: The ozone layer has shown signs of gradual recovery thanks to the international efforts to reduce ODS emissions under the Montreal Protocol.

A7. B. Ozone-depleting substances

Explanation: Ozone depletion is primarily caused by human-made compounds like chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), not greenhouse gases or carbon emissions.

A8. True

Explanation: The discovery of the ozone hole led to international negotiations and the eventual signing of the Montreal Protocol.

A9. C. Increased ultraviolet radiation

Explanation: A depleted ozone layer leads to an increase in the amount of ultraviolet radiation that reaches the Earth's surface.

A10. Global cooperation and informed policy-making

Explanation: The effectiveness of the Montreal Protocol demonstrates how collaborative efforts and sound policies can successfully address complex environmental issues.


In preparing for the IELTS Reading section, it's imperative to practice with passages that not only challenge your comprehension but also expand your knowledge on critical global issues, such as the ozone hole. The questions provided are designed to reinforce key information and analytical skills required for the exam. By engaging with this content, students can improve their reading strategies, understand the nuances of complex texts, and develop the confidence needed to excel in the IELTS test. This article, with its detailed passage and diverse question types, serves as an ideal study tool for those aiming to achieve a high band score in the IELTS Reading section.

Kanika Pruthi

Sr. Content Writer & Study Abroad Expert

Kanika has 5+ years of experience as a writer and content developer. She has written for a wide range of industry verticals, including hospitality, restaurants, non-profits, finance, IT, HR, technology, payroll, and education. She has worked as a creator for a few leading companies and has also helped brands grow through her creative writing.

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