Table of Contents

Measuring Environmental Degradation

Measuring Environmental Degradation

Developing Pressure Indicators for Europe

Edited by Anil Markandya and Nick Dale

Measuring Environmental Degradation is a unique book that provides a comprehensive yet concise overview of the key issues of environmental significance addressed as part of the Eurostat ‘Environmental Pressure Indicators Project’. The book is part of the ‘Towards Environmental Pressure Indicators for the EU’ (TEPI) series that has resulted from the project.

Chapter 15: Introduction

P.E.M. Lammers

Subjects: environment, environmental sociology


P.E.M. Lammers1 1. THE OZONE LAYER DEPLETION POLICY FIELD Ozone is a naturally occurring gas in the atmosphere, and protects the earth against ultraviolet radiation from the sun. Emissions of human-made compounds containing chlorine or bromine, such as CFCs and halons, have severe impacts on the stratospheric ozone layer. The destruction of the ozone layer was first discovered in the 1970s. Any damage to the ozone layer leads to increased ultraviolet (UV-B) solar radiation. It has been demonstrated that increased UV-B radiation is harmful to human health and terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, and also affects the climate system (UNEP, 1993; WMO, 1995). The following three chapters provide a thorough overview of the ozone depletion problem, current scientific knowledge and possible adverse effects on human health and ecosystems. Each of the chapters in this part of the volume has been written by a recognized expert in the field of Ozone Layer Depletion (see Introduction to the contributors). 2. RELATION TO OTHER POLICY FIELDS As outlined in the following three chapters, and as noted in the climate change chapters (Chapters 5–8), the policy field of Ozone Layer Depletion is closely related to the policy field of Climate Change. Since ozone is a naturally occurring greenhouse gas, stratospheric ozone depletion will result in radiative cooling. However, since CFCs and halons are effective greenhouse gases, overall effects on global warming are difficult to estimate. Several of the greenhouse gases also affect stratospheric ozone depletion by stratospheric reactions or indirect temperature effects....