Global Challenge Network on Ozone

The Global Challenge Network on Tropospheric Ozone was funded by the Science & Technology Facilities Council (STFC) and coordinated by the NERC Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH). The key role of the network was to improve connections between the participating institutions, their expertise in instrumentation, engineering, data networking and modelling in order to form a better integrated ozone-related research community in the UK.

Ozone remains a global challenge, despite success of policy action

Ensuring ozone is a protector not a lethal threat for humans and the environment remains a major global challenge, according to some of the world’s leading scientists.New, separate findings published in the past few days provide a glimmer of hope that concerted global actions to protect the environment can be successful, with the United Nations reporting signs of the ozone layer healing and NASA/NOAA concluding that the ozone hole over Antarctica is smaller than it would have been without policy action.Global scientific research underpins these findings, and the International Ozone Commission (IO3C), which represents hundreds of the world’s experts on the subject, has now completed a special issue comprising the leading international research on ozone.The selection of scientific papers – all of which are freely accessible online - reflects our current understanding of ozone, which has a conflicting role in our atmosphere. In the troposphere, it is a powerful greenhouse gas, caused by a mixture of pollutants. At ground level, it has dire effects on human health, ecosystems and crop production. In the stratosphere, the ozone layer protects us from the Sun’s harmful ultraviolet radiation.IO3C president Dr Sophie Godin-Beekmann explained: “Ozone is a principal gas in our atmosphere, and is necessary for life on the Earth’s surface. Ozone measurements, research and analysis are fundamental to both understanding the Earth atmosphere and how it is changing.”Since the shock discovery, by British scientists, of a huge hole in the ozone layer over Antarctica in 1985, there has been international action to curb emissions of ozone-depleting substances, with the Montreal Protocol being widely hailed as a resounding success.News of early signs of recovery of the ozone layer protecting the planet and humans from harmful solar ultraviolet radiation emerged in recent years. However, new research has highlighted new threats to the ozone layer from a substance, CFC-11, being emitted into the atmosphere at unprecedented levels since its ban by the Montreal Protocol. Scientists have warned that if these emissions are not curbed, the recovery of the ozone layer could be delayed by many years.Therecent special report on the impact of global warming of 1.5°C by the International Panel for Climate Change (IPCC), highlighted the benefits for human health if action was taken to limit ozone pollution.Professor Ian Boyd, Chief Scientific Adviser at the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs of the UK, said: “Ozone research and observations are absolutely necessary for supporting air quality policy and decision makers, particularly in a world where greenhouse gases continue to increase.”The special issue comprising 43 papers, has been derived from the IO3C’s Quadrennial Ozone Symposium, held in Edinburgh in 2016, with more than 300 leading international scientists in the field and was hosted by the UK’s Centre for Ecology & Hydrology.The special issue, featuring in the scientific journals Atmospheric Chemistry & Physics and Atmospheric Measurement Techniques, covers:

  • Tropospheric ozone (ozone present in the lowest region of the atmosphere, extending from the earth's surface to the lower boundary of the stratosphere)
  • Stratospheric ozone (ozone present in the layer of the earth's atmosphere above the troposphere, extending to about 50 km above the earth's surface)
  • Ozone chemistry, including climate interactions
  • Global ozone observations and measurement techniques.


Upcoming Events

Quadrennial Ozone Symposium (QOS)
The QOS is organised by CEH and the University of Edinburgh on behalf of the International Ozone Commission and will take place from September 4-9 2016 in Edinburgh
Submit an abstract here and visit the event website for more information
Abstract deadline is 1 March 2016


42nd CAPER (Committee for Air Pollution Effects Research) Conference
CEH Bangor, 4–6 April 2016
The conference is organised by the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH) and will be held at the Management Centre of Bangor University from Monday (lunchtime) 4 April to Wednesday (lunchtime) 6 April 2016. This year we particularly encourage contributions within the theme of:
Ecosystem Responses and Feedbacks to Multiple Environmental Drivers
Deadline for registration: 4 March 2016