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UV Radiation Frying Marine Life

A study suggests that increased UVB radiation from the sun is behind the decline of many marine species.

By | August 13, 2012

image: UV Radiation Frying Marine Life Coral Reef at Palmyra Atoll National Wildlife RefugeU.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Jim Maragos

An increase of UVB radiation due to damage to the ozone layer may be the main cause of the widespread die offs of marine organisms observed during the last decades, according to a new study published last month (July 25) in the journal of Global Ecology and Biogeography. Led by marine scientist Moira Llabres from the Mediterranean Institute for Advanced Studies in Spain, the study was based on previous data gathered on UVB levels and marine life and found a strong correlation between organism mortality and UVB radiation.

"The organisms most affected are protists, such as algae, corals, crustaceans, and fish larvae and eggs," Llabres told BBC News. Increases in UVB radiation in the southern hemisphere, for example, specifically coincide with the decline of krill and other species in the area.

"I think that more investigation should be focused on the UVB effects on marine ecosystems because high levels of UV radiation continue reaching the biosphere," Llabres added.

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Avatar of: agelbert


Posts: 50

August 15, 2012

I would be interested in knowing if the increased UVB is adding to the oceanic heat load. Up until now, scientists claim the ozone hole does not contribute to global warming. However the triatomic water molecule has absorption bands that can accept UVB photon energies. Enough of this energy transfer could explain accelerated heating not matching the computer models. I hope someone mentions this to Hansen. At the NASA web site Ozone Watch it is clear that the hole IS NOT getting any smaller (see 1979-2011 animation) despite the fact that methyl chloroform has been mostly eliminated. The illegal production of ODS (Ozone Depleting Substanctes) is much worse than advertised.

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