The depletion of the Earth’s ozone layer puts billions of people at risk of skin cancer and cataracts

Qing-Bin Lu, a scientist from Canada’s University of Waterloo in Ontario, has revealed a large ozone hole throughout the season – defined as an area of ​​ozone loss, 25% larger than in the unaffected atmosphere. disturbance – in the lower stratosphere. above the tropics has a depth comparable to the famous Antarctic hole in spring, but, its area is about seven times larger.

“The tropics cover half of the planet’s surface area and are home to about half of the world’s population,” Lu said.

“The existence of the tropical ozone hole could cause great concern globally.”


“Depletion of the ozone layer can lead to increased ground-level ultraviolet radiation, which can increase the risk of skin cancer and cataracts in humans, as well as weaken the human immune system. , reduce agricultural productivity and negatively affect sensitive aquatic organisms and ecosystems,” noted Lu, in the journal article. Advance AIP.

According to Lu, The ozone hole is currently located in the tropics and has been around since the 1980s.

The observation of the ozone hole surprised Lu’ colleagues in the scientific community because conventional photochemical models did not predict it.

For the polar ozone hole, about 80 percent of the normal ozone value is depleted at the center of the tropical ozone hole.

Preliminary reports suggest that the extent of ozone depletion in equatorial regions is already endangering large populations, and that the UV radiation associated with these regions is much larger than expected.

“Polar and tropical ozone holes play an important role in cooling and regulating the temperature of the stratosphere, reflecting the formation of three ”temperature holes”’ in Lu said. global stratosphere. He said the finding could prove crucial for better understanding global climate change. . ”

“The current discovery calls for more careful studies of ozone depletion, changes in UV radiation, increased cancer risk, and other negative health and systemic effects,” said Lu. ecology in tropical regions”.

Source: IANS

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