This article is from the Ozone Depletion: UV Radiation and its Effects FAQ, by Robert Parson firstname.lastname@example.org with numerous contributions by others.
This file deals with the physical properties of ultraviolet
radiation and its biological consequences, emphasizing the
possible effects of stratospheric ozone depletion. It frequently
refers back to Part I, where the basic properties of the ozone
layer are described; the reader should look over that file first.
The overall approach I take is conservative. I concentrate on what
is known and on most probable, rather than worst-case, scenarios.
For example, I have relatively little to say about the
effects of UV radiation on plants - this does not mean that the
effects are small, it means that they are as yet not well
quantified (and moreover, I am not well qualified to interpret the
literature.) Policy decisions must take into account not only the
most probable scenario, but also a range of less probable ones.
will probably do, but also the worst that he could possibly do.
There have been surprises, mostly unpleasant, in this field in the
past, and there are sure to be more in the future. In general,
_much_ less is known about biological effects of UV-B than about
the physics and chemistry of the ozone layer.