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Atmospheric aerosol formation from biogenic vapors is strongly affected by air pollutants

The formation of new aerosol particles is a complicated process. Researchers have only recently started to understand this process on a molecular level after instruments able to detect nanometer-scale particles became available.  The human population has altered the composition of atmospheric gas in several ways. Sulfur dioxide from industrial emissions, nitrogen oxides from traffic, and ammonia from agriculture can all affect particle formation after chemical reactions in the atmosphere. These gases can also interact with organic vapors, which originate mainly from forests and vegetation. The atmosphere contains thousands of different organic compounds, but only a small fraction of them can form and grow particles.  Read more...

 

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