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.

Become an MIT Technology Review Insider for in-depth analysis and unparalleled perspective.

Subscribe today

Uh oh–you've read all of your free articles for this month.

Insider Premium
$179.95/yr US PRICE

Want more award-winning journalism? Subscribe to Insider Plus.
  • Insider Plus {! insider.prices.plus !}*

    {! insider.display.menuOptionsLabel !}

    Everything included in Insider Basic, plus ad-free web experience, select discounts to partner offerings and MIT Technology Review events

    See details+

    What's Included

    Bimonthly home delivery and unlimited 24/7 access to MIT Technology Review’s website.

    The Download. Our daily newsletter of what's important in technology and innovation.

    Access to the Magazine archive. Over 24,000 articles going back to 1899 at your fingertips.

    Special Discounts to select partner offerings

    Discount to MIT Technology Review events

    Ad-free web experience

/
You've read all of your free articles this month. This is your last free article this month. You've read of free articles this month. or  for unlimited online access.