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Interacting problems

As if each of the major atmospheric problems were not enough by themselves, they can interact and reinforce each other. Recent research has shown that acid rain and global warming can greatly magnify the effects of ozone layer thinning. In Canada, regional warming has reduced precipitation and thus dissolved organic carbon inputs to lakes, while acidification reduces the productivity of some plants. Together these can raise ultraviolet penetration in lake water from thinning ozone by up to 800 percent, causing increasing damage to lake ecosystems (Schindler, et al., 1996).

References and Sources

Schindler, David W., P.J. Curtis, P.R. Parker and M.P. Stainton. 1996. "Consequences of climate warming and lake acidification for UV-B penetration in North-American boreal lakes." Nature 379:705-708. February 1996.


Emerging Issues


UNEP/DEWA/Earthwatch 1996-2003