The problem of ozone depletion in northern Europe
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article
Ozone in the atmosphere, mainly in the stratosphere, absorbs most of the ultraviolet-B (wavelength 280-315 nm) radiation from the sun, which can destroy DNA and other biologically important molecules and, thereby, damage living organisms. Due to the pollution of the atmosphere by humans, the ozone layer is presently being depleted, more rapidly at higher latitudes than at lower, and more rapidly over Scandinavia than over most geographical regions at corresponding latitudes. Ultraviolet-B radiation is generally more intense in mountain regions than at sea level. We have experiments in progress in which we simulate the effects of further ozone depletion on terrestrial ecosystems (mountain heaths, bogs, tundra) by irradiating them with artificial ultraviolet-B radiation. Effects on the growth of dwarf-shrubs and mosses and on plant litter decomposition are described.