We encourage you to republish this article online and in print, it’s free under our creative commons attribution license, but please follow some simple guidelines:
  1. You have to credit our authors.
  2. You have to credit SciDev.Net — where possible include our logo with a link back to the original article.
  3. You can simply run the first few lines of the article and then add: “Read the full article on SciDev.Net” containing a link back to the original article.
  4. If you want to also take images published in this story you will need to confirm with the original source if you're licensed to use them.
  5. The easiest way to get the article on your site is to embed the code below.
For more information view our media page and republishing guidelines.

The full article is available here as HTML.

Press Ctrl-C to copy

A new monitoring facility adds Kenya to a worldwide network to detect ozone depletion and monitor the levels of ozone-damaging pollutants.

The high-tech monitoring station was inaugurated last week at the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in Nairobi, and is the first of its kind in tropical and sub-tropical Africa.

One of the key roles of the facility will be to better understand the fate of ozone-damaging chemicals produced in the region from both human-made and natural sources. In particular the information gleaned will help scientists to find out how much of this pollution reaches the upper atmosphere, which in turn influences how quickly the ozone layer may recover from past damage.

UNEP’s executive director, Klaus Toepfer, warned that the results of large amounts of ozone mixing with pollution from cars, factories and other sources could be extremely harmful. “These smogs, increasingly a phenomenon in developing as well as developed countries, can prove fatal for vulnerable people such those with heart conditions and asthma,” he said.

As well as helping to monitor local air quality, the Nairobi station — which is part of an international research network including the recently launched European Space Agency ENVISAT satellite — may eventually assist in producing pollution 'forecasts'.

Related external link:

United Nations Environment Programme