Effects of Climate Change on Ozone and UV-B
How do changes in concentration of stratospheric ozone impact human health and the global ecosystem? In our latest episode Editor-in-Chief Dr. Sadis Matalon interviews lead author Professor Christos Zerefos about the recent Review titled, “The long-term variability of human health related solar ultraviolet-B radiation doses from the 1980s to the end of 21st century.” Because stratospheric ozone is the protective layer which screens harmful UV-B solar radiation, ozone depletion impacts diseases of the eyes and the development of skin cancers. The Montreal Protocol is an international treaty signed in 1987 to protect the ozone layer by eliminating the use of chlorofluorocarbons, which deplete the ozone layer and consequently increase harmful solar ultraviolet-B radiation reaching the earth. By some estimates, according to Professor Zerefos, the Montreal Protocol has prevented 2 million additional cases of melanoma and other skin cancers per year worldwide. Listen as we discuss how global warming will interfere with the expected recovery of the ozone layer by introducing regional changes in UV-B and subsequent detrimental effects on human health. Work continues to monitor global ozone levels because, as Professor Zerefos says, “Science never stops.” He also emphasizes the need to continue our protection from excess exposure in UV-B solar radiation in the decades to come. Listen now to learn more.
Christos Zerefos, Ilias Fountoulakis, Kostas Eleftheratos, and Andreas Kazantzidis The long-term variability of human health related solar ultraviolet-B radiation doses from the 1980s to the end of 21st century Physiological Reviews, published April 17, 2023. DOI: 10.1152/physrev.00031.2022
It is Free