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A View from David Appell

Ozone Depletion

Climate skeptics like to argue that species – mankind included – can adapt to climate change, but there are some things to which no one can adapt. One of them is ultraviolet radiation. But more UV radiation is apparently what’s…

  • April 28, 2005

Climate skeptics like to argue that species – mankind included – can adapt to climate change, but there are some things to which no one can adapt. One of them is ultraviolet radiation.

But more UV radiation is apparently what’s in store, according to this article in The Guardian: “The protective ozone layer over the Arctic has thinned this winter to the lowest levels since records began, alarming scientists who believed it had begun to heal.”

According to researchers at Cambridge University, it’s not increased pollution but instead climate change that is making ozone depletion worse. At high altitudes, the researchers conclude, 50 percent of the protective layer had been destroyed. Say the scientists involved, “The pollution levels have levelled off but changes in the atmosphere have made it easier for the chemical reactions to take place that allow pollutants to destroy ozone. With these changes likely to continue and get worse as global warming increases, then ozone will be further depleted even if the level of pollution is going down.”

Read The Guardian article for the exact details of the science involved, which is somewhat complicated.

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