Skin cancer in fish and other unknown effects of climate change

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In May 1985, just 30 years ago, British researchers they alarmed the whole world with their statements according to which a large hole in the ozone layer that shelters Antarctica. And most disturbing of all, it was our fault, due to the constant use of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), gases present in the refrigeration industry and aerosol propellants (such as deodorants, paints, etc.).

The concern was of such importance that governments around the world it took only 2 years to sign an agreement (Montreal Protocol), to ban the use of CFCs. Now, recent studies are showing the very positive results that this action had and compare it with the passive treatment that is being given to climate change.

Article index

  • Why is the ozone layer so important to the planet?
  • The alarming consequences of the destruction of the ozone layer
  • A good example of its effects: skin cancer in fish
  • The ozone layer today
  • But why is it not the same with climate change??
  • Most significant consequences of climate change
  • What can you do?

Why is the ozone layer so important to the planet?

Ozone acts as a filter, or protective shield, against harmful radiation, and high energy, which reach the Earth allowing others to pass, such as the long wave ultraviolet, which in this way reaches the surface. This ultraviolet radiation is what allows life on the planet, since it is responsible for the photosynthesis of the plant kingdom, which is located at the base of the trophic pyramid..

In a nutshell, without him it would be impossible for there to be life on Earth. It would be the end of our species and the world as we know it today.

The alarming consequences of the destruction of the ozone layer

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For humans

An increase in solar radiation would cause skin cancer (also in animals), cataracts, weakened immune system even reaching affect the efficiency of vaccines Worldwide.

For the plants

Alter their shape and growth, make them more vulnerable to disease and that they produce toxic substances. Loss of biodiversity and species. Crops affected by UV-B radiation include rice and soybeans.

For marine ecosystems

Reduced survival rates of phytoplankton that are the food base of the oceans. Damage to the gestation of fish and other animals. Reduced reproducibility, etc..

A good example of its effects: skin cancer in fish

This disturbing discovery took place in the Australian Great Barrier Reef, when researchers discovered skin cancer in wild trout. The fish had lesions and dark spots on their bodies, which is equivalent to a human melanoma. It has not yet been confirmed that they are harmful for consumption, but it has been stated that it may be affecting more species.

The ozone layer today

“Without the Montreal Protocol, the planet would have experienced a further depletion of the ozone layer. In a few decades, this reduction could have been catastrophic, with much higher levels of ultraviolet radiation on the surface ”, says Professor at the University of Leeds (UK), Martyn Chipperfield, co-author of a study who imagines what the situation would be like if CFCs had not been banned.

If nothing had been done, the hole would today be a 40% higher than it was in 2008. But the most relevant thing is that there would not be a hole in the ozone layer, but two.

This fact could be a good lesson in the debate on climate change.

But why is it not the same with climate change??

As it happened then with the hole in the ozone layer, there is now a denialism on climate change, of which it has even been said that it is a normal process and that the actions of man have little or nothing to do with it.

Behind the ozone deterioration was the chemical industry that had to succumb to pressure from the scientific community, ecologists and society in general and sign an agreement to curb its emissions of harmful gases. But now we talk about the energy industry, a giant with great power today capable of changing even the political landscape of a country, as we well know.

In the words of Jose Luis García, head of energy and climate change at Greenpeace:

The energetic ones have much more power, in addition, it adds that they have learned from the past and spend amounts of money to create reports dedicated to ozone denialism.

Most significant consequences of climate change

- The temperature increase global temperature of 0.85 ºC, the highest in the history of mankind.

- Decrease in rainfall, especially in spring and summer.

- Extreme weather events, such as storms and hurricanes.

- The progressive melting of glacial masses, like the Arctic, which would produce disappearance of countries like Holland and the Netherlands, ect, by rising sea levels.

- Extinction of a large number of animal species as a result of changes in ecosystems. The polar bear is being seriously affected by habitat loss and cannibalism is occurring. by diminishing their potential prey.

What can you do?

It is essential to have agreements that force the reduction of emissions and launch an energy revolution that replace fossil fuels and nuclear power.

On a personal basis you can recycle, change your appliances when necessary for low consumption ones, save energy and, in general, have a more responsible attitude to our planet. Did you know that by planting a tree you would be able to absorb a ton of carbon dioxide throughout its life??.

The change is in your hands.

Sources: Climate change and technology, Ecoticias, veoverde, greenpeace, Wikipedia 1,2,3

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