Increased Summertime UV Radiation in New Zealand in Response to Ozone Loss

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Science  10 Sep 1999:
Vol. 285, Issue 5434, pp. 1709-1711
DOI: 10.1126/science.285.5434.1709

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Long-term decreases in summertime ozone over Lauder, New Zealand (45°S), are shown to have led to substantial increases in peak ultraviolet (UV) radiation intensities. In the summer of 1998–99, the peak sunburning UV radiation was about 12 percent more than in the first years of the decade. Larger increases were seen for DNA-damaging UV radiation and plant-damaging UV radiation, whereas UV-A (315 to 400 nanometers) radiation, which is insensitive to ozone, showed no increase, in agreement with model calculations. These results provide strong evidence of human-induced increases in UV radiation, in a region where baseline levels of UV radiation were already relatively high.

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