Ozone thinning having impact on plants

Mar 04, 2006

The pollution that causes ozone depletion is declining, but the warming of the atmosphere will see a global thinning of the ozone layer, says a U.N. panel.

The panel of 24 scientists, meeting in Alexandra, New Zealand, is preparing to report to the United Nations on changes to the ozone layer and subsequent consequences.

The scientists say one discovery has turned traditional thinking on its head -- food plants across the world are developing a poisonous protective layer to shield against harmful ultraviolet rays, the Wellington Dominion Post reported.

It had been believed that radiation only had a negative effect on plants, but scientists now say a screening pigment produced by most plants can be toxic to predators and help with disease prevention -- which could result in less use of pesticides and fungicides.

Scientists have not detected negative effects on humans, but are uncertain if the increased levels of toxins might have impact the wider food chain.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Meteorites yield clues to Martian early atmosphere

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Cosmologists weigh cosmic filaments and voids

2 hours ago

(Phys.org) —Cosmologists have established that much of the stuff of the universe is made of dark matter, a mysterious, invisible substance that can't be directly detected but which exerts a gravitational ...

Red moon at night; stargazer's delight

18 hours ago

Monday night's lunar eclipse proved just as delightful as expected to those able to view it. On the East Coast, cloudy skies may have gotten in the way, but at the National Science Foundation's National Optical ...

Meteorites yield clues to Martian early atmosphere

20 hours ago

(Phys.org) —Geologists who analyzed 40 meteorites that fell to Earth from Mars unlocked secrets of the Martian atmosphere hidden in the chemical signatures of these ancient rocks. Their study, published ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Cosmologists weigh cosmic filaments and voids

(Phys.org) —Cosmologists have established that much of the stuff of the universe is made of dark matter, a mysterious, invisible substance that can't be directly detected but which exerts a gravitational ...

Meteorites yield clues to Martian early atmosphere

(Phys.org) —Geologists who analyzed 40 meteorites that fell to Earth from Mars unlocked secrets of the Martian atmosphere hidden in the chemical signatures of these ancient rocks. Their study, published ...

Let's put a sailboat on Titan

The large moons orbiting the gas giants in our solar system have been getting increasing attention in recent years. Titan, Saturn's largest moon, is the only natural satellite known to house a thick atmosphere. ...