A new study is linking worsening global warming with increased skin cancer risk.
Researchers at Harvard University found that summer storms push water into the upper atmosphere which depletes the ozone layer, thereby causing skin cancer.
The complex causal web, reported by Science Daily, sees vapor sent into the normally bone-dry stratosphere setting off ozone depletion.
The New York Times reported that ozone helps protect humans, animals and plants from the ultraviolet light and radiation from the sun.
It even protects the icecaps in the Arctic regions, which appear to be melting rapidly.
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The research is particularly shocking as it shows just how potentially dangerous and rapid the depletion has become.
The stud found that as much as 25 to 35 percent of ozone, over a horizontal distance of 100 kilometers, could be depleted in just one week.
"If you were to ask me where this fits into the spectrum of things I worry about, right now it's at the top of the list," said James G. Anderson, an atmospheric scientist at Harvard and the lead author of the study, reported Harvard Magazine.
"What this research does is connect, for the first time, climate change with ozone depletion, and ozone loss is directly tied to increases in skin cancer incidence, because more ultraviolet radiation is penetrating the atmosphere."
The study was published in the journal Science.