Questions and answers about the environmental effects of ozone depletion and its interactions with climate change: 2010 assessment

Pieter J. Aucamp, Lars Olof Björn, Robyn Lucas

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Citations (SciVal)

Abstract

In the mid-1970s it was discovered that some man-made products
destroy ozone molecules in the stratosphere. This destruction leads
to higher ultraviolet (UV) radiation levels at the surface of the
Earth and can cause damage to ecosystems and to materials such
as plastics. Itmay cause an increase in human diseases such as skin
cancers and cataracts.
The discovery of the role of the synthetic ozone-depleting
chemicals, such as the chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), stimulated
increased research and monitoring in this field. Computer models
predicted a disaster if nothing was done to protect the ozone layer.
Based on this scientific information, the nations of the world took
action in 1985 with the Vienna Convention for the Protection of
theOzone Layer, followed by the Montreal Protocol on Substances
that Deplete the Ozone Layer in 1987. The Convention and
Protocol have been amended and adjusted several times since 1987
as new knowledge has become available.
The Meetings of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol appointed
three Assessment Panels to regularly review research findings
and progress. These panels are the Scientific Assessment Panel,
the Technological and Economic Assessment Panel and the
Environmental Effects Assessment Panel. Each panel covers a
designated area with a natural degree of overlap. Themain reports
of the Panels are published every four years, as required by
the Meeting of the Parties. All three reports have an executive
summary that is distributed more widely than the entire reports.
It has become customary to add a set of questions and answers –
mainly for non-expert readers – to these executive summaries.
This document contains the questions and answers prepared by
the experts of the Environmental Effects Assessment Panel. They
refer mainly to the environmental effects of ozone depletion and
its interactions with climate change, based on the 2010 report of
this Panel, but also on information from previous assessments and
from the report of the Scientific Assessment Panel. Readers who
need further details on any question should consult the full reports
for a more complete scientific discussion. All these reports can be
found on the UNEP website: http://ozone.unep.org.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)301-316
JournalPhotochemical and Photobiological Sciences
Volume10
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Biological Sciences

Keywords

  • assessment
  • climate change
  • ozone depletion
  • ultraviolet radiation
  • UNEP
  • vitamin D

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