Depletion of the ozone layer has consequences on humans, animals, and plants. This typically results from higher UV levels reaching us on earth.
How Ozone Depletion Affects UV Levels?
Research confirms that high levels of UV Rays cause non-melanoma skin cancer. Additionally, it plays a major role in malignant melanoma development. UV is also linked to cataracts (a disease of the eye which clouds the eye’s lens).
This is why it is important to wear UV protection sunglasses and sun-cream when you stay in the sun to minimise the UV effect on your skin and eyes.
Click below for important notes on UV and its effects on humans.
The damage that extreme UV levels have on plants is one that our eyes do not see much, but humans can feel the impact. Plant growth, as well as its physiological and developmental processes, are all affected negatively. These include the way plants form, the timing of development and growth, distribution of plant nutrients and metabolism, etc. These changes can have important implications for plant competitive balance, animals that feed on these plants, plant diseases, and biogeochemical cycles.
Marine (or water) Ecosystems
Phytoplankton form the foundation of aquatic food webs. These usually grow closer to the surface of the water, where there is enough sunlight. Changes in UV levels are known to affect the development and growth of phytoplankton, and naturally, the fish that feed on them. The UV radiation is also known to have affected the development stages of fish, shrimp, crab, amphibians and other animals. When this happens, animals in the upper food chain that feed on these tiny fishes are all affected.
Effects on Biogeochemical Cycles
The power of higher UL levels affect the natural balance of gasses (and greenhouse gases) in the biosphere: e.g., carbon dioxide (CO2), carbon monoxide (CO), carbonyl sulfide (COS) and ozone. Changes in UV levels can cause biosphere-atmosphere feedback resulting from the atmospheric buildup of these gases. (More about the effects of UV here)