Most ozone performs a vital role in the stratosphere, acting as a protective layer for life on Earth. This text examines the effects of increasing UV radiation on people, plants and animals. It takes the reader on a journey from the Antarctic ozone hole to the Arctic birch forest, to see how plants and microbes will fare against increasing UV radiation. We know the dangers for skin cancer, but this book also raises questions about the evolution of our immune system and uncovers scientific controversy in the discussion of eye disease. The style of this book aims to give readers at all levels an insight into the complexities of how life has evolved to deal with the destructive power of the sun. Moreover, it gives the reader a chance to follow international policy, as well as current research in the field. The book is aimed at those lacking time to follow the scientific literature, but who seek more than simple answers: science teachers conveying basic environmental ideas, students wanting viewpoints not in the text books, environmentalists and policy makers needing more than statements of scientific consensus.
Most of all it is written for anyone ready to reflect on one of the major environmental issues today. It looks at the reasoning behind official risk assessments and analyzes the international policies aimed at reducing the decay of the ozone layer and implications for agriculture, ecosystems and global population.