University of York calculates huge economic impact of ozone
Increased ozone concentrations at ground level may be causing millions of pounds of damage to UK food crops, according to a University of York researcher. Building on a previous study on ozone concentrations in the environment, which estimated that in 1990 alone the UK lost £130million in crops due to ozone taken up by plants, Dr Lisa Emberson of the Stockholm Environment Institute has been developing new methods to calculate the amount of ozone that agricultural crops absorb.
Her figures incorporate factors such as species-specific and environmental conditions (e.g. growing season, drought and humidity) that, in combination with ozone concentrations, determine plant susceptibility. Applying this new method for the UK, the loss of production in two staple crops, wheat and potato, translates into economic losses of approximately £70million and £14million respectively. The scale of damage varies by region according to ozone levels, climate, and crop distribution.
Dr Lisa Emberson | alfa
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