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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
Publishing year: 2011
Language: English
Pages: 301-316
Publication/Series: Photochemical and Photobiological Sciences
Volume: 10
Issue: 2
Document type: Journal article review
Publisher: Royal Society of Chemistry

Abstract english

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:


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


  • Popular science
  • Photobiology-lup-obsolete
  • ISSN: 1474-9092
Lars Olof Björn
E-mail: lars_olof [dot] bjorn [at] biol [dot] lu [dot] se

Professor emeritus

Molecular Cell Biology

+46 46 222 72 53