UNEP, WMO Release Ozone Depletion Assessment

5 April 2011: The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) have released an assessment titled “Scientific Assessment of Ozone Depletion: 2010,” which reports record stratospheric ozone loss in the Arctic.

According to the assessment, ozone depletion has reached an unprecedented level over the Arctic due to the continuing presence of ozone-depleting substances (ODS) in the atmosphere and a very cold winter in the stratosphere. The assessment attributes the slow recovery of the ozone layer to the fact that ODS remain in the atmosphere for several decades.

The assessment provides that if the ozone depleted area moves away from the pole and to lower latitudes, increased ultraviolet radiation is expected. WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud stated that the 2011 ozone loss shows that “we have to remain vigilant and keep a close eye on the situation in the Arctic in the coming years” and that WMO's Global Atmospheric Watch Network will assist in early warning in “case of low ozone and intense UV radiation.” [Publication: Scientific Assessment of Ozone Depletion: 2010] [WMO Press Release]