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3 chapter 11 I Climate Change chapter 12 I Depletion of the Ozone Layer page 465 page 425 Global Atmospheric Changes “I am inclined to look at adaptation to any special climate as a quality readily grafted on an innate wide flexibility of constitution, which is common to most animals” Charles Darwin in The Origin of Species (XIXth century) Climate change and the depletion of the stratospheric ozone layer are two of the main environmental challenges that humans face due to their impacts on health, biodiversity and economic development. The industrilization process has brought about an increase in greenhouse gas emissions and a greater consumption of ozone-depleting substances. Because of its climatic, geographical, economic and social characteristics, Chile is a country particularly vulnerable to these global-scale phenomena. Climate change could have significant impact on the country, such as increasing the frequency of droughts, accelerating land degradation and desertification risks, among others. Some evidence recorded during the last century includes: Significant changes in temperature, general rainfall reduction, diminished water flows in hydrographic basins, and a general trend towards mass loss of glaciers. On the other hand, due to its geographical location, Chile is particularly sensitive to the adverse effects of increased UVB ultraviolet radiation as a result of ozone depletion. In the southernmost zones, this situation is even more critical because the Antarctic ozone hole covers part of this area of the country. At the global level, the country only contributes with a small percentage of the pressures that cause these environmental problems. Nevertheless, Chile has actively joined to international iniatiatives to promote actions to face these threats, such as the Kyoto Protocol on climate change and Montreal Protocol on ozone-depleting susbstances. The current section describes the situation of these phenomena in the country in two chapters dealing with these topics: “Climate Change” and “Depletion of the Ozone Layer”.