Efforts to reduce stratospheric ozone loss affect agriculture
Bryan C. Weare, Atmospheric Science Program
California Agriculture 49(3):24-27. DOI: 10.3733/ca.v049n03p24.
Research has shown that the increased ultraviolet radiation reaching the Earth's surface resulting from stratospheric ozone loss poses a danger to everyone. Concern about ozone loss prompted many nations to ratify the Montreal Protocol, the most comprehensive international environmental agreement ever enacted. Several provisions of this protocol will have substantial, long-term effects on the agricultural industry. Agriculture contributes substantially to ozone depletion, primarily through its use of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) for refrigeration in processing, storage and transport of meats and produce. This paper is meant to serve as an overview of the scientific basis for ozone depletion concerns, a description of the current international policy agreement, and the possible consequences of that policy for agriculture.
B.C. Weare is Professor, Atmospheric Science Program, UC Davis.
This work was supported by the UC Agricultural Experiment Station.
The author thanks the editors of the Global Environmental Change Report, published by the Cutter Information Corporation, and all of the students and colleagues who have helped him better understand the wide range of subjects discussed in this paper. Figure 1 is largely based upon the 1989 review articles in American Scientist by Rowland and in Scientific American by Graedel and Crutzen. Data in figure 2 were taken from Madronich and Gruijl, Science, 366, p. 23 (1993). Table 1 is based primarily upon reports provided by Dr. Mac McFarland of the Dupont Corporation.