Ozone experts highlighted the need for increased research and observations to inform policy on ozone and climate

News Hour:

Top Ozone experts from around the world highlighted the need for increased research and observations to inform policy on ozone and climate at a meeting sponsored by UN Environment and the World Meteorological Organization in Geneva, 28 – 30 March.

The 10th Ozone Research Managers (ORM) meeting concluded that integrated earth science observation systems are essential to ensure that action to protect the ozone layer also benefits the climate, given the complex and evolving interaction between the ozone layer and the climate system.

The Co-Chairs of the 10th ORM: Kenneth Jucks, NASA and Gerrie Coetzee, SAWS

This key ozone/climate coupling has been captured in the overarching finding of the Ozone Research Managers that states: Understanding the complex coupling of ozone, atmospheric chemistry, transport and climate changes remain a high priority and the need for further research and systematic monitoring in this area has been heightened since the past ORM recommendations.

The key recommendations/findings included:

  • It is incumbent on the scientific community to monitor the continued effects of the Montreal Protocol. There is a research need for detailed analyses of the wide range of data on ozone, ODS, their replacements and related gases so that we can assess the impact of the Protocol.
  • As most Ozone Depleting Substances are declining, other source gas, especially N2O, CH4, and water vapor, are increasing in importance for understanding Ozone change. Hence increased efforts to monitor vertical profiles of these gases up to the stratosphere will be required.
  • A working group between scientist among organizations with significant scientific capacity along with those from organizations with a need for a significant increase in scientific capacity should be established to allow continued and enhanced scientific capacity among all parties of the Montreal Protocol.

“Observing and monitoring ozone is critical as it provides a basis for the nations of the world to take informed decisions and implement policies to protect all life on earth,” said Tina Birmpili, Executive Secretary of the Ozone Secretariat.

“We need to convince our policy makers that the stratosphere is a critical part of the earth and that observing and monitoring ozone will reveal critical data and interlinkages with other areas of earth science like climate change”, she added.

“International action on ozone is a shining example of the collaboration needed to address many of the environmental challenges faced by humanity,” said Deon Terblanche, Co-Director of WMO’s Research Department.

“The long-term investment in observations and research and capacity development has reaped dividends in terms of the value to society, and it is vital that this should continue,” he said.

Scientists and government managers of research related to ozone attended the meeting. Its recommendations will be submitted to the Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer, which will be held in November this year in Montreal, Canada.

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