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Stratospheric Ozone Levels Over Scotland Lowest In 10 Years

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hatrack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 12:32 PM
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Stratospheric Ozone Levels Over Scotland Lowest In 10 Years
THE ozone layer above Scotland is thinner than at any point in the last ten years, according to new research which has prompted fresh concerns over skin cancer rates. Levels of ozone, which play a crucial role in helping to filter out harmful ultraviolet rays from the sun, were thought to be rising after the systematic banning of the CFC chemicals which were damaging it.

But now experts believe global warming is changing conditions in the upper atmosphere and leading to a reduction in levels again.

Cancer experts warned yesterday that the results meant it was more important than ever for people to take precautions when in the sun. Last year's ozone level, recorded by a monitoring station on Lerwick, was the lowest since 1996 and the second lowest since 1981.

A spokeswoman for the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA), which will discuss the situation at a conference this autumn, said less ozone in the upper atmosphere could have harmful effects on humans, animals and plants. "In general, a reduction in ozone layer is likely to result in increased ultra-violet radiation reaching the Earth's surface," she said.

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