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Letter of support
Impact Case Study: WMO Scientific Assessment of Ozone Depletion: 2010
Innovative research activities carried out by the Cambridge group led by Prof Pyle were
instrumental in understanding past, present, and predicting future Arctic/mid-latitudes
stratospheric ozone loss during the last twenty years. This research included, among others,
chemistry/climate model development, ozone trend analysis and coupling observations and
modelling to answer key scientific questions concerning stratospheric ozone depletion and its
potential recovery, as well as the stratospheric ozone and climate change interactions. The
Cambridge group did not limit its contribution to excellent scientific results on these issues,
but played a leading role in coordination of the European stratospheric research programme
supported by the European Commission and the national research programmes through the
European Ozone Research Coordinating Unit located in Cambridge. The synergies developed
through this coordination were essential to understand and interpret complex information
arising from different observational, modelling and laboratory sources. The assessment of
these research results were documented in various European reports published during the last
twenty years and, at global scale, in the every 4-year WMO Scientific Assessments of Ozone
Depletion, the most recent one in 2010.
I had the opportunity to follow closely the research progress of the Cambridge group during
my stratospheric ozone and climate change research management positions in the
Environment Research Programme of the European Commission (1994-2008). Moreover,
since 2008 I have appreciated the impact of its pioneering research and assessment influence
in the regulatory process of the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee of the
European Parliament. From both positions, I would like to emphasize a twofold impact that
research by the Cambridge group had through the WMO assessments on:
- public awareness on scientific issues that concern broad public audience, for example, by
providing solid scientific information on how much ozone loss occurred in the atmosphere and
subsequently how much UV radiation reached the ground with implications on the public
health, i.e. fatal skin cancers.
- policy and/or legislation in relation to the Montreal Protocol on ozone depleting chemicals.
For example, the replacement of CFCs by HCFCs and especially by HFCs, which are strong
greenhouse gases creating conflicts with the Kyoto Protocol. At European level, the
(EC)1005/2009 regulation of the European Parliament and the Council implemented what had
been agreed in the Montreal Protocol, and on many occasions moved faster in phasing out
dangerous substances than the Protocol required.
Overall, research by the Cambridge group made a significant impact to both policy actions and
environmental protection.
Dr Georgios Amanatidis, Senior administrator
European Parliament, Committee for Environment, Public Health and Food Safety
Rue Wiertz 60, ATR 02 K054, 1047 Brussels, Belgium
Tel.: +32-2-283.40.86, Fax: +32-2-284.90.14
[email protected]