Climatic Change

, Volume 89, Issue 1, pp 143–154

Learning about ozone depletion

Open Access

DOI: 10.1007/s10584-008-9400-6

Cite this article as:
Crutzen, P.J. & Oppenheimer, M. Climatic Change (2008) 89: 143. doi:10.1007/s10584-008-9400-6


Stratospheric ozone depletion has been much studied as a case history in the interaction between environmental science and environmental policy. The positive influence of science on policy is often underscored, but here we review the photochemistry of ozone in order to illustrate how scientific learning has the potential to mislead policy makers. The latter may occur particularly in circumstances where limited observations are combined with simplified models of a complex system, such as may generally occur in the global change arena. Even for the well-studied case of ozone depletion, further research is needed on the dynamics of scientific learning, particularly the scientific assessment process, and how assessments influence the development of public policy.

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© The Author(s) 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Atmospheric ChemistryMax Planck Institute for ChemistryMainzGermany
  2. 2.Department of GeosciencesPrinceton UniversityPrincetonUSA
  3. 3.Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International AffairsPrinceton UniversityPrincetonUSA

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