The ozone layer is thinning and we do not yet know to what extent future ozone losses will be affected by climate change, or what impact this will have on human health.
For this reason, the European Research Commissioner Philippe Busquin today welcomed the start of the first phase of the VINTERSOL (Validation of International Satellites and Study of Ozone Loss) campaign, composed of national and EU projects. VINTERSOL will be closely co-ordinated with the SAGE III Ozone Loss and Validation Experiment (SOLVE II), a US NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) sponsored campaign. The kick-off meeting takes place in Brussels today. The joint initiative will involve 350 scientists from the European Union, Canada, Iceland, Japan, Norway, Poland, Russia, Switzerland and the United States. Aircraft, large and small balloons, ground-based instruments and satellites will be used to measure ozone and other atmospheric gases and particles. The project aims to improve understanding of Arctic ozone depletion, and at upgrading satellite observation of the ozone layer.
"This joint project is in the spirit of the 1998 European Union-United States Science and Technology Co-operation Agreement, which fosters joint scientific endeavours," said Commissioner Philippe Busquin. "It brings together researchers from around the world and aids better understanding of what happens in the ozone layer over the Arctic region, and therefore addresses global climate change and the effects on human health of overexposure to sun radiation. It will help us to meet the requirements of the Montreal Protocol on ozone-depleting substances, fine-tune our policies with sound scientific evidence and upgrade Europes role in the international scientific arena. This is a concrete illustration of the EUs intention to build a European GMES capacity (Global Monitoring for the Environment and Security)."
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