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Global Climate Change DigestArchives of the
Global Climate Change Digest

A Guide to Information on Greenhouse Gases and Ozone Depletion
Published July 1988 through June 1999

FROM VOLUME 6, NUMBER 12, DECEMBER 1993

NEWS...
ULTRAVIOLET INCREASE OBSERVED


Item #d93dec139

Canadian scientists have published the first strong evidence that decreasing levels of stratospheric ozone are causing the intensity of ultraviolet radiation to increase at the Earth's surface in middle latitudes. (See: "Evidence for Large Upward Trends of Ultraviolet-B Radiation Linked to Ozone Depletion," J.B. Kerr, C.T. McElroy, Science, 262(5136), 1032-1034, Nov. 12, 1993). The measurements were made in such a way that the complicating influences of clouds and low-level atmospheric pollution were excluded.

A news report in the same issue of Science (pp. 990-991) explains how this finding addresses an argument used by a small, vocal group of dissenters on the ozone problem. Previously, there had been no evidence that ultraviolet radiation has increased at the Earth's surface in response to the long-term decrease in ozone levels observed at temperate latitudes.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and National Weather Service have been developing a program to monitor trends in surface ultraviolet radiation, and inform the public daily of potential health risks from exposure. The program will be modeled after one started in Canada in 1992. Modifications, such as the manner of communicating information to the public, are still being developed. (See Chem. Eng. News, pp. 7-8, Nov. 29 1993).

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