Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Is solar UV frying fish?

21.03.2007
Marine and freshwater organisms could be facing damage due to increasing levels of ultraviolet (UV) radiation, according to a United Nations (UN) commissioned review.

The news is reported in the latest edition of the Royal Society of Chemistry journal Photochemical & Photobiological Sciences.

Aquatic ecosystems produce over half the biomass of the Earth and are an integral part of the planet’s biosphere.

The international team behind the review is worried that the depleted ozone layer has exposed these ecosystems to harmful levels of UV radiation, particularly in polar regions where the ozone layer is the thinnest.

There could also be wider implications for climate change, since if UV damage cuts marine ecosystem productivity, the oceans’ capacity to mop up the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide would fall. This extra atmospheric CO2 could then add to global warming.

Additionally, the annual phytoplankton boom, which supports the entire Antarctic aquatic food chain, is currently protected from UV damage by a layer of sea-ice.

Warmer climates would mean sea-ice melts earlier, increasing UV exposure. These plankton are particularly vulnerable to UV damage as the low temperatures slow their repair mechanisms.

A team of scientists from Germany, India and America compiled the review. It comprised hundreds of separate studies into to the effects of UV radiation, covering organisms from plankton to frogs and fish.

The findings highlight that while the effects of UV radiation on entire ecosystems are difficult to measure and model, the impact on individual species can be dramatic.

Numbers of frogs, toads and other amphibians have fallen across the world over the last 10 years. And while the exact cause is a complex combination of factors, the review highlights more than 50 research papers implicating UV radiation.

The study is part of a wider United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) report on interactions between ozone depletion and climate change.

Every few years, UNEP produces a report for parties to the Montreal Protocol – the 1987 international agreement to phase out production of most ozone depleting compounds, such as CFCs, by 2000. The report is subsequently published in Photochemical & Photobiological Sciences, to make it available to the entire scientific community.

Janet Bornman, co-chair of the Environmental Effects Assessment Panel of the UNEP and co-ordinator of the report, said: “It is hoped that the publication will stimulate the scientific community to continue working on the gaps in knowledge that still exist.

“We hope that it will help keep scientists aware of their involvement in the protection of the environment for all forms of life on Earth”.

Tony Kirby | alfa
Further information:
http://www.rsc.org

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Scientists on the road to discovering impact of urban road dust
18.01.2018 | University of Alberta

nachricht Gran Chaco: Biodiversity at High Risk
17.01.2018 | Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.

Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...

Im Focus: Room-temperature multiferroic thin films and their properties

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.

Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...

Im Focus: A thermometer for the oceans

Measurement of noble gases in Antarctic ice cores

The oceans are the largest global heat reservoir. As a result of man-made global warming, the temperature in the global climate system increases; around 90% of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

10th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Münster, 10-11 April 2018

08.01.2018 | Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Polymers Based on Boron?

18.01.2018 | Life Sciences

Bioengineered soft microfibers improve T-cell production

18.01.2018 | Life Sciences

World’s oldest known oxygen oasis discovered

18.01.2018 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>