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Billions at risk of skin cancer as huge ozone hole detected over tropics

Around half the planet’s population is in danger of skin cancer as a huge new hole has been detected in Earth's ozone layer



Billions at risk of skin cancer as huge ozone hole detected over tropics
GNN Media: Representational Photo

Scientists claim that a new hole in the Earth’s ozone layer has been detected— exposing around half the planet’s population to higher doses of dangerous ultraviolet radiation from the sun. 

As per the study, the year-round ozone hole is said to be seven times larger than the reported nine million square mile hole over Antarctica.

The new issue in the ozone layer which sits around 15 miles above the Earth and shields us from cancer — causing ultra-violet rays — is said to be over the Tropics.  

If confirmed it would potentially put billions of people at risk of a number of conditions including cancer and cataracts among others. 

University of Waterloo scientist and paper author Qing-Bin Lu said: “The tropics constitute half the planet's surface area and are home to about half the world's population

The existence of the tropical ozone hole may cause great global concern. 

"The depletion of the ozone layer can lead to increased ground-level UV radiation, which can increase risk of skin cancer and cataracts in humans, as well as weaken human immune systems, decrease agricultural productivity, and negatively affect sensitive aquatic organisms and ecosystems.

"The present discovery calls for further careful studies of ozone depletion, UV radiation change, increased cancer risks, and other negative effects on health and ecosystems in the tropical regions.”

Moreover, the hole is believed to have been present since the 1980s, with models only recently being able to confirm its existence.

Since 2000, tropical stratospheric ozone levels have indeed still been decreasing, but this is due to changes in atmospheric motions expected with climate change.