swings & roundabouts

New Zealand could lose its unenviable reputation as the skin-cancer centre of the world thanks to climate change. However, there may be cause for celebration, with some scientists believing that by the second half of this century the rate will be falling.

Scientists think that climate change will speed up a recovery of the ozone layer over much of the world and block out more of the damaging UV rays.

National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research scientist Greg Bodeker said the peak in the skin-cancer rate was expected about 2040. Beyond that, increased ozone concentrations were likely to take New Zealand and the rate back to where it was in the 1950s or 60s.

“It’s a good story, absolutely. We are already seeing ozone recovery over New Zealand,” Bodeker said.

Stuff.co.nz, 1/12/08