Cleanest Air on Earth Identified by Atmospheric Scientists

  • 3-06-2020, 18:41
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    Colorado State University Distinguished Professor Sonia Kreidenweis and her research group identified an atmospheric region unchanged by human-related activities in the first study to measure bioaerosol composition of the Southern Ocean south of 40 degrees south latitude.

    Kreidenweis’ group, based in the Department of Atmospheric Science, found the boundary layer air that feeds the lower clouds over the Southern Ocean to be pristine — free from particles, called aerosols, produced by anthropogenic activities or transported from distant lands.

    Their findings were published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on June 1, 2020. Weather and climate are complex processes connecting each part of the world to every other region, and with climate changing rapidly as a result of human activity, it’s difficult to find any area or process on Earth untouched by people.

    Kreidenweis and her team suspected the air directly over the remote Southern Ocean that encircles Antarctica would be least affected by humans and dust from continents. They set out to discover what was in the air and where it came from.