Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Environment, Economics, and Politics (EEP)

Reader 1

Colin Robins

Reader 2

Katie Purvis-Roberts


In the late 1970s, one of the most serious environmental issues was the hole in the ozone. Scientists proved that ozone depletion was caused by the chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) produced by factories and that it was causing an increase in UV-B radiation, a serious cause of skin cancer. The Montreal Protocol (1987) was a groundbreaking policy that called for an immediate halt in CFC production. Although the ozone hole has begun shrinking, its interactions with global climate change are much less understood and can have major influences on human health. One of these factors is accessibility to food. The effects of UV-B radiation on crop yields are poorly researched and understood. Some lab experiments have been criticized for having defective methods creating biased results. Additionally, the results produced cannot be translated to other plants as UV-B radiation effects are species dependent. This new review and analysis study aims to discover the effects of UV-B radiation on crop yields using crop yield data. This study concludes that there is no statistically significant impact of ozone concentration on crop yields. Despite that this study is based on the best available data on ozone concentration, it must be recognized that it is limited as only 8 ground-based monitoring stations exist around the world. The results stress the importance of continued stratospheric ozone monitoring as climate change worsens. This study is a call to action for government agencies to invest more resources in this endeavor.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.