News of the WeekTHE OZONE LAYER

Burnt by the Sun Down Under

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Science  10 Sep 1999:
Vol. 285, Issue 5434, pp. 1647-1649
DOI: 10.1126/science.285.5434.1647b

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On page 1709, scientists report that over the past 10 years peak levels of ultraviolet (UV) rays have gradually been increasing in New Zealand, just as concentrations of protective stratospheric ozone have decreased. By the summer of 1998-99, peak sunburning UV levels were about 12% higher than they were during similar periods earlier this decade. Experts say the study provides the strongest evidence yet that a degraded stratospheric ozone layer causes more hazardous conditions for life on the planet's surface.