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  1. The morphology of the Milky Way is still a matter of debate. In order to shed light on uncertainties surrounding the structure of the Galaxy, in this paper, we study the imprint of spiral arms on the distribution and properties of its molecular gas. To do so, we take full advantage of the SEDIGISM (Structure, Excitation, and Dynamics of the Inner Galactic Interstellar Medium) survey that observed a large area of the inner Galaxy in the 13 CO (2–1) line at an angular resolution of 28′′. We analyse the influences of the spiral arms by considering the features of the molecular gas emission as a whole across the longitude–velocity map built from the full survey. Additionally, we examine the properties of the molecular clouds in the spiral arms compared to the properties of their counterparts in the inter-arm regions. Through flux and luminosity probability distribution functions, we find that the molecular gas emission associated with the spiral arms does not differ significantly from the emission between the arms. On average, spiral arms show masses per unit length of ~10 5 –10 6 M ⊙ kpc −1 . This is similar to values inferred from data sets in which emission distributionsmore »were segmented into molecular clouds. By examining the cloud distribution across the Galactic plane, we infer that the molecular mass in the spiral arms is a factor of 1.5 higher than that of the inter-arm medium, similar to what is found for other spiral galaxies in the local Universe. We observe that only the distributions of cloud mass surface densities and aspect ratio in the spiral arms show significant differences compared to those of the inter-arm medium; other observed differences appear instead to be driven by a distance bias. By comparing our results with simulations and observations of nearby galaxies, we conclude that the measured quantities would classify the Milky Way as a flocculent spiral galaxy, rather than as a grand-design one.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available February 1, 2023
  2. Abstract The Environmental Effects Assessment Panel of the Montreal Protocol under the United Nations Environment Programme evaluates effects on the environment and human health that arise from changes in the stratospheric ozone layer and concomitant variations in ultraviolet (UV) radiation at the Earth’s surface. The current update is based on scientific advances that have accumulated since our last assessment (Photochem and Photobiol Sci 20(1):1–67, 2021). We also discuss how climate change affects stratospheric ozone depletion and ultraviolet radiation, and how stratospheric ozone depletion affects climate change. The resulting interlinking effects of stratospheric ozone depletion, UV radiation, and climate change are assessed in terms of air quality, carbon sinks, ecosystems, human health, and natural and synthetic materials. We further highlight potential impacts on the biosphere from extreme climate events that are occurring with increasing frequency as a consequence of climate change. These and other interactive effects are examined with respect to the benefits that the Montreal Protocol and its Amendments are providing to life on Earth by controlling the production of various substances that contribute to both stratospheric ozone depletion and climate change.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 1, 2023
  3. Abstract This assessment by the Environmental Effects Assessment Panel (EEAP) of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) provides the latest scientific update since our most recent comprehensive assessment (Photochemical and Photobiological Sciences, 2019, 18, 595–828). The interactive effects between the stratospheric ozone layer, solar ultraviolet (UV) radiation, and climate change are presented within the framework of the Montreal Protocol and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. We address how these global environmental changes affect the atmosphere and air quality; human health; terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems; biogeochemical cycles; and materials used in outdoor construction, solar energy technologies, and fabrics. In many cases, there is a growing influence from changes in seasonality and extreme events due to climate change. Additionally, we assess the transmission and environmental effects of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), which is responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic, in the context of linkages with solar UV radiation and the Montreal Protocol.
  4. This assessment, by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Environmental Effects Assessment Panel (EEAP), one of three Panels informing the Parties to the Montreal Protocol, provides an update, since our previous extensive assessment ( Photochem. Photobiol. Sci. , 2019, 18 , 595–828), of recent findings of current and projected interactive environmental effects of ultraviolet (UV) radiation, stratospheric ozone, and climate change. These effects include those on human health, air quality, terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, biogeochemical cycles, and materials used in construction and other services. The present update evaluates further evidence of the consequences of human activity on climate change that are altering the exposure of organisms and ecosystems to UV radiation. This in turn reveals the interactive effects of many climate change factors with UV radiation that have implications for the atmosphere, feedbacks, contaminant fate and transport, organismal responses, and many outdoor materials including plastics, wood, and fabrics. The universal ratification of the Montreal Protocol, signed by 197 countries, has led to the regulation and phase-out of chemicals that deplete the stratospheric ozone layer. Although this treaty has had unprecedented success in protecting the ozone layer, and hence all life on Earth from damaging UV radiation, it is also makingmore »a substantial contribution to reducing climate warming because many of the chemicals under this treaty are greenhouse gases.« less
  5. The Environmental Effects Assessment Panel (EEAP) is one of three Panels of experts that inform the Parties to the Montreal Protocol. The EEAP focuses on the effects of UV radiation on human health, terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, air quality, and materials, as well as on the interactive effects of UV radiation and global climate change. When considering the effects of climate change, it has become clear that processes resulting in changes in stratospheric ozone are more complex than previously held. Because of the Montreal Protocol, there are now indications of the beginnings of a recovery of stratospheric ozone, although the time required to reach levels like those before the 1960s is still uncertain, particularly as the effects of stratospheric ozone on climate change and vice versa , are not yet fully understood. Some regions will likely receive enhanced levels of UV radiation, while other areas will likely experience a reduction in UV radiation as ozone- and climate-driven changes affect the amounts of UV radiation reaching the Earth's surface. Like the other Panels, the EEAP produces detailed Quadrennial Reports every four years; the most recent was published as a series of seven papers in 2015 ( Photochem. Photobiol. Sci. , 2015,more »14 , 1–184). In the years in between, the EEAP produces less detailed and shorter Update Reports of recent and relevant scientific findings. The most recent of these was for 2016 ( Photochem. Photobiol. Sci ., 2017, 16 , 107–145). The present 2017 Update Report assesses some of the highlights and new insights about the interactive nature of the direct and indirect effects of UV radiation, atmospheric processes, and climate change. A full 2018 Quadrennial Assessment, will be made available in 2018/2019.« less