The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Devolved Administrations (DA) continue to fund a long-running programme Baseline Measurement and Analysis of UK Ozone and UV to monitor column (effectively stratospheric) ozone and surface UV. The main driver for the monitoring programme is the 1985 Vienna Convention on the Protection of the Ozone Layer. The Convention obliges parties (including the UK) to undertake inter alia monitoring, data dissemination and information exchange activities. The current monitoring programme comprises:
- Measurements of column ozone at two sites in the UK (Lerwick and Reading)
- Spectrally-resolved UV measurements at one site (Reading) The ozone element of the monitoring programme was reviewed in 2002.
Defra has commissioned this review of the programme to ensure that it continues to meet current and future policy and scientific requirements as well as international obligations. The Review The review was structured in terms of 7 questions, which addressed a range of strategic, technical and organisational aspects of the monitoring programme.
- How does the monitoring programme help to meet the UK obligations under the Vienna Convention on the Protection of the Ozone Layer?
- Are the data currently collected in the monitoring programme fit for purpose? If not, what measures could be employed to make the data fit for purpose? Are there any activities in the current monitoring programme which are no longer needed?
- Are the current measurement techniques viable into the future (over a 5-20 year timescale), and what other techniques/instruments are available?
- Are current methodologies for disseminating information sufficient? If other techniques/instruments are preferable, how (or indeed could) they be introduced whilst maintaining the continuity of the results?
- Is the current monitoring programme cost effective?
- Is the current monitoring programme structured for optimum delivery?
- Should all or part of the programme be competitively tendered, or indeed should it be competitively tendered at all?
Summary of Findings
The key findings were
- The current monitoring programme is working well but it has a low profile and impact
- There are options to evolve the programme but these require further, more detailed evaluation.
Hayman, G. and Monks, P.S., 2010. Review of the Monitoring Programme: Baseline Measurement and Analysis of UK Ozone and UV.