A Survey of the Potential Effects of Increasing UV-B Radiation on the Biosphere. Revision.
AEROSPACE CORP EL SEGUNDO CA TECHNOLOGY OPERATIONS
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There are by now well-established connections between the introduction of chlorine-containing molecules into the stratosphere, a consequent decrease in the concentration of stratospheric ozone, and an increase in UV-B radiation at the surface of the Earth. An increase in UV-B on average would increase the incidence rate of non-melanoma skin cancer worldwide, with an unproved but likely increase in melanoma skin cancer. Other effects on humans could include cataracts and immune system inhibition, but these are less well established. The response of domestic and wild animal populations to UV-B is not thought to be a serious problem at this time, in part because they are protected by fur. The response of plants is complex because plants exist in a highly competitive situation with other plants for water and light, and must survive in an environment of pests and diseases, which may also be affected by UV-B. The oceanic phytoplankton are the basis of the ocean food chain and are responsible for half of the natural carbon dioxide fixation. Studies have indicated that the phytoplankton are adversely affected by UV-B, and thus there is a potential for excess UV-B to affect fishing yields and the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
- Stress Physiology