Human activities are dramatically affecting the climate
Today‘s Video of the Day from the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory describes how human activities are dramatically affecting the Earth’s atmosphere and climate.
An international team of scientists led by Manish Shrivastava has analyzed unpolluted air samples collected over the Amazon rainforest and compared them to polluted air samples collected nearby.
The researchers discovered that human-caused pollution triggers the production of secondary organic aerosols (SOAs) to a much larger extent than previously thought.
SOAs are tiny particles that have a big impact on our climate because they can reflect or absorb sunlight, help to form clouds, and alter rainfall patterns. The particles also influence how carbon flows between the land and the atmosphere.
“The impact of pollution in creating secondary organic aerosols has been very difficult to tease out,” said Shrivastava. “Our findings indicate the earth’s atmosphere in many continental locations has already been substantially altered by human activities, and there’s a much larger and widespread impact than has been appreciated.”
The study is published in the journal Nature Communications.
Video Credit: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory