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40 Current news about the topic atmospheric chemistry

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Mirror image molecules reveal drought stress in forests

Ecosystem changes can be more accurately predicted by emissions of chiral compounds

09-Sep-2022

Worldwide, plants emit about 100 million tonnes of monoterpenes into the atmosphere each year. These volatile organic molecules include many fragrances such as the molecule pinene – known for its pine fresh scent. Since these molecules are highly reactive and can form tiny aerosol particles that ...

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Cleaner air as a result of coronavirus lockdown

Lockdowns in early summer 2020 meant that the amount of soot in the atmosphere, which is harmful to the climate and to health, almost halved

11-Aug-2022

During the first lockdown of the coronavirus pandemic, soot concentrations in the atmosphere over Western and Southern Europe almost halved. This is apparent from the comparison of two measurement campaigns carried out by the German research aircraft HALO in 2017 and 2020. A new study suggests ...

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New class of substances detected in atmospheric chemistry

International team reports on highly oxidized hydrotrioxides

31-May-2022

An international research team has now succeeded in detecting hydrotrioxides (ROOOH) for the first time under atmospheric conditions. Until now, there was only speculation that these organic compounds with the unusual OOOH group exist. In laboratory experiments, their formation during the ...

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Chemical triad forms seeds for clouds

Synergistic particle formation in the upper troposphere by nitric acid, sulfuric acid and ammonia

20-May-2022

Atmospheric aerosol particles are needed as seeds to form clouds, but the controlling processes are not fully understood. By combining experiments in the CERN cloud cham-ber and computer modelling, a team of international researchers, including scientists from the Max Planck Institute for ...

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Light amplification accelerates chemical reactions in aerosols

Temporal sequence of photochemical reaction in individual aerosol particles observed with high resolution

21-Apr-2022

Aerosols in the atmosphere react to incident sunlight. This light is amplified in the interior of the aerosol droplets and particles, accelerating reactions. ETH researchers have now been able to demonstrate and quantify this effect and recommend factoring it into future climate models. Liquid ...

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Mechanism Deciphered: How Organic Acids Are Formed in the Atmosphere

17-May-2021

The acidity of the atmosphere is increasingly determined by carbon dioxide and organic acids such as formic acid. The second of these contribute to the formation of aerosol particles as a precursor of raindrops and therefore impact the growth of clouds and pH of rainwater. In previous atmospheric ...

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Lightning and subvisible discharges produce molecules that clean the atmosphere

04-May-2021

Lightning bolts break apart nitrogen and oxygen molecules in the atmosphere and create reactive chemicals that affect greenhouse gases. Now, a team of atmospheric chemists and lightning scientists have found that lightning bolts and, surprisingly, subvisible discharges that cannot be seen by ...

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Particulates are more dangerous than previously thought

Harmful substances are already formed in the atmosphere, not just in the human body

24-Mar-2021

Researchers at the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI have for the first time observed photochemical processes inside the smallest particles in the air. In doing so, they discovered that additional oxygen radicals that can be harmful to human health are formed in these aerosols under everyday ...

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Oxidation processes in combustion engines and in the atmosphere take the same routes

25-Feb-2021

Alkanes, an important component of fuels for combustion engines and an important class of urban trace gases, react via another reaction pathways than previously thought. These hydrocarbons, formerly called paraffins, thus produce large amounts of highly oxygenated compounds that can contribute to ...

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Surprise from the jungle soil

Soil microorganisms in the Amazon rainforest can affect atmospheric chemistry

01-Aug-2018

The Amazon rainforest is the largest forest on earth. Its trees emit huge amounts of volatile substances that influence the chemical composition of the air. Some of these substances are the so-called sesquiterpenes, very reactive chemicals that can rapidly consume ozone. Until recently scientists ...

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