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January 16, 2017

Atmosphere-biosphere interactions: UV, ozone and the earth system

Atmosphere-biosphere interactions UV, ozone and the Earth system 400 x 400 px

Good environmental policy has to be founded on high-quality environmental science, but delivering the research needed by policy makers can be a challenge.

The Montreal protocol is widely held to be the most successful global environmental agreement of all time, but policy-makers, in the UN and around the world, find it hard to define just what the success of the Montreal protocol has achieved. We know the control of ozone depleting substances has protected the ozone layer and prevented large increases in UV radiation, but what does that mean to people, food production and natural ecosystems? This project will answer those questions.

By applying recent advances in global climate, ozone and vegetation models, you will compare the world we live in (the world with the successful Montreal protocol) with “the world avoided” (a world without the protocol). You will model changes in global UV radiation as it affects crops and vegetation and go on to use those UV models to determine how uncontrolled ozone depletion would have affected food production and the growth of natural vegetation.

Understanding changes in global primary production in terrestrial ecosystems you will also provide entirely new insights in to how uncontrolled ozone depletion might have reduced the uptake of carbon dioxide and so exaggerated climate change. You will develop new skills and original insights using novel interdisciplinary science, with a strong emphasis on using the most up-to-date modelling techniques.

Beyond that, you will also provide information needed by policy makers and, through the involvement of the supervisory team in the scientific assessments contributing to the work of the Montreal protocol, have an opportunity to engage directly with policy makers at a global scale.

Applicants should hold a minimum of a UK Honours degree at 2:1 level or equivalent in Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics, Natural or Environmental Science, or a related discipline.

For further details please contact Paul Young paul.j.young@lancaster.ac.uk