Readings About Ozone and Ultraviolet

Over the past half century, thousands of scientific papers, articles and books have been published about ozone and solar UV.

If you want to study the history of the subject, the best paper by far is one by G.M.B. Dobson, inventor of the Dobson spectrophotometer, a ground-based instrument for measuring atmospheric ozone. The paper is titled "Forty Years' Research on Atmospheric Ozone at Oxford: A History" (Applied Optics, vol. 7, no. 3, March 1968, pages 387-405). Another outstanding paper, by one of Dobson's contemporaries, F.W. Paul Gotz, is "Ozone in the Atmosphere" (Compendium of Meteorology, American Meteorological Society, 1951, pages 275-291).

The most recent comprehensive scientific paper on ozone trends is "Measured Trends in Stratospheric Ozone" by Richard Stolarski, Rumen Bojkov and several others (Science, vol. 256, April 17, 1992, pages 342-349). This paper presents a detailed comparison of satellite and ground-based measurements and concludes there is "an apparent downward trend in the total column amount of ozone over mid-latitude areas of the Northern Hemisphere in all seasons."

For a summary of current knowledge of ultraviolet solar radiation reaching the earth's surface, see "Ultraviolet Sunlight Reaching the Earth's Surface: A Review of Recent Research," by John Frederick (Photochemistry and Photobiology, vol. 57, no. 1, pp. 175-178, 1993).

You can find many other articles about ozone and ultraviolet at any library. University libraries are best since they have many of the scientific journals that publish papers about ozone. Several books about ozone have also been published.

If you really want to dig into the scientific literature on utlraviolet and ozone, William B. Grant of NASA has compiled a comprehensive bibliography. Specific topics include: solar radiation; changes in ozone distributions; factors that affect ozone distributions; absorption spectra of atmospheric molecular species; photolysis rates of atmospheric species absorbing in the UV-B region; aerosols; clouds; measurements of UV-B radiation; and the effects of UV-B radiation on man, plants, animals, and materials.

Grant has drawn on several sources for his bibliographic material: atmospheric science and general science journals; Current Contents and the Science Citation Index, published by the Institute for Scientific Information of Chicago, Illinois; environmental journals; The Global Climate Change Digest, Center for Environmental Information, 46 Prince Street, Rochester, NY 14607-1016, 716-271-0606; information supplied by researchers on UV-B; and general news sources. He also used bibliographies in published and unpublished compilations, and thanks Sasha Madronich, of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) for the use of two of his bibliographies on UV-B radiation.

A copy of the bibliography (on a 3.5 inch disk) is available for the asking by writing to William B. Grant, 803 Marlbank Drive, Yorktown, VA, 23692-4353.

It's important to understand that some books and articles about ozone are not as objective as most scientific papers on the subject. The clash over ozone is especially well demonstrated by the cover story in the February 17, 1992, issue of Time and a response in the form of a cover story in the April 6, 1992, issue of Insight. If you read the first ("Vanishing Ozone") be sure to read the second ("Vanishing Facts").

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File date: 5/31/95