Invest in sunblock

Authors

  • Michael Carlowicz


Abstract

According to data gathered by the Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer (TOMS) on NASA's Nimbus-7 satellite, the amount of ultraviolet radiation reaching the surface of Earth from the Sun has increased as the total amount of ozone in the atmosphere has decreased over the past 15 years.

“The increases are largest in the middle and high latitudes, where most people live and most of the world's agricultural activity occurs,” said Jay Herman, an atmospheric scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. According to Herman and colleagues, since 1978 the average annual exposure to ultraviolet B radiation (in the 290–320-nm range) has increased by 6.8% per decade at 55°N latitude, crossing the United Kingdom, Germany, Scandinavia, and Russia. At 55°S, cutting across southern Argentina and Chile, ultraviolet exposure increased 9.8% per decade. The change in UV-B radiation in most of North America was about 4% per decade.

Ancillary