The rate of skin cancer has been on the rise and a study by Harvard University has potentially linked this to climate change. The research by the university has found a connection between the decrease in ozone levels in the atmosphere with the disease. It is important that everyone is aware of the potential risks of skin cancer that could be coming from climate change.
The Depletion Of Ozone Levels
Harvard University has linked depleted ozone in the atmosphere to higher rates of skin cancer. This is directly linked to climate change because the depletion of ozone levels is partially caused by industrial pollution and chemicals. Over the years, these chemicals have allowed more of the sun’s harmful UV rays to reach the earth and this is why there has been an increase in the rate of skin cancer.
Climate change scientists believe that it will take at least 50 years for ozone levels in the atmosphere to recover. Of course, for this to happen, changes will need to be made to industry to slow the rate of climate change. However, even with this decrease, the World Health Organization believes that skin cancer rates will continue to increase over this timeframe.
What Is Climate Change?
To better understand the impact of climate change on skin cancer rates, it is important to know what this is. Climate change is the warming of the surface of the earth because of a buildup of greenhouse gases. Increased levels of greenhouse gases have been attributed to the use of fossil fuels. The increase in surface temperature will lead to a rise in sea levels, melting glaciers and extreme weather patterns.
Climate change and the depletion of the ozone layer have been seen as separate phenomena. However, researchers are Harvard connected the two in 2012. The researchers found that climate change causes more severe and frequent storms which leads to an increase in the water vapor in the stratosphere. This increase in water vapor harms the ozone levels and as the frequency of the storms increases, the damage will also increase.
How Climate Change Is Affecting Skin Cancer Rates
Knowing about climate change and how it affects the ozone levels is important, but understanding the link between it and skin cancer is also vital. The hole in the ozone layer is located over Antarctica which is far away from most populated areas. This has led many to believe that there is no connection between this and skin cancer.
However, there are certain countries, such as Australia, which are located close to Antarctica where skin cancer rates are very high. It is important to note that there are some who believe that this is not related to the depletion of the ozone levels. Scientists also believe that countries further from the hole will also be affected as the North Pole cools down causing a breakdown of ozone levels in other areas.
However, it is not only the depletion of the ozone which scientists have linked to skin cancer. It is human behavior based on the warmer temperatures of climate change. When the weather is warmer, people spend more time outside which increases their exposure to UV rays which will cause skin cancer.