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Diverse policy implications for future ozone and surface UV in a changing climate

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published
  • Amy Butler
  • John S. Daniel
  • Robert W Portmann
  • A. R. Ravishankara
  • Paul John Young
  • David W. Fahey
  • Karen H. Rosenlof
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Article number64017
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>20/06/2016
<mark>Journal</mark>Environmental Research Letters
Issue number6
Volume11
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Due to the success of the Montreal Protocol in limiting emissions of ozone-depleting substances, concentrations of atmospheric carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, and methane will control the evolution of total column and stratospheric ozone by the latter half of the 21st century. As the world proceeds down the path of reducing climate forcing set forth by the 2015 Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 21), a broad range of ozone changes are possible depending on future policies enacted. While decreases in tropical stratospheric ozone will likely persist regardless of the future emissions scenario, extratropical ozone could either remain weakly depleted or even increase well above historical levels, with diverse implication for ultraviolet (UV) radiation. The ozone layer's dependence on future emissions of these gases creates a complex policy decision space for protecting humans and ecosystems, which includes unexpected options such as accepting nitrous oxide emissions in order to maintain historical column ozone and surface UV levels.