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The Hidden Culprit: Ozone

Does Ozone contribute to global warming? New research shows that it could be a bigger factor in climate change than scientists have realized.

Ozone gas occurs naturally in the atmosphere. It's formed in the stratosphere by the action of solar radiation on oxygen. It is also caused by man-made pollution. Ozone absorbs part of the ultraviolet radiation from the sun, reducing the amount of dangerous solar radiation that reaches the earth.

When ozone stays close to the ground, it damages plants so they can no longer absorb carbon dioxide as well as they used to. In BBC News, Paul Rincon quotes researcher Peter Cox as saying, "Ozone could be twice as important as we previously thought as a driver of climate change."

Art credit: gimp-savvy.com

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