Tag Archives: ozone

NASA Mission Provides Its First Look at Martian Upper Atmosphere

NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) spacecraft has provided scientists their first look at a storm of energetic solar particles at Mars, produced unprecedented ultraviolet images of the tenuous oxygen, hydrogen, and carbon coronas surrounding the Red Planet, and yielded a comprehensive map of highly variable ozone in the atmosphere underlying the coronas. (more…)

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Yale study: Forest emissions, wildfires explain why ancient Earth was so hot

The release of volatile organic compounds from Earth’s forests and smoke from wildfires 3 million years ago had a far greater impact on global warming than ancient atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide, a new Yale study finds.

The research provides evidence that dynamic atmospheric chemistry played an important role in past warm climates, underscoring the complexity of climate change and the relevance of natural components, according to the authors. They do not address or dispute the significant role in climate change of human-generated CO2 emissions. (more…)

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Berkeley Lab Confirms Thirdhand Smoke Causes DNA Damage

A study led by researchers from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has found for the first time that thirdhand smoke—the noxious residue that clings to virtually all surfaces long after the secondhand smoke from a cigarette has cleared out—causes significant genetic damage in human cells.

Furthermore, the study also found that chronic exposure is worse than acute exposure, with the chemical compounds in samples exposed to chronic thirdhand smoke existing in higher concentrations and causing more DNA damage than samples exposed to acute thirdhand smoke, suggesting that the residue becomes more harmful over time. (more…)

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NASA Ozone Study May Benefit Air Standards, Climate

PASADENA, Calif. – A new NASA-led study finds that when it comes to combating global warming caused by emissions of ozone-forming chemicals, location matters.

Ozone is both a major air pollutant with known adverse health effects and a greenhouse gas that traps heat from escaping Earth’s atmosphere. Scientists and policy analysts are interested in learning how curbing the emissions of these chemicals can improve human health and also help mitigate climate change. (more…)

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Freezing Electrons in Flight

Using the world’s fastest laser pulses, which can freeze the ultrafast motion of electrons and atoms, UA physicists have caught the action of molecules breaking apart and electrons getting knocked out of atoms. Their research helps us better understand molecular processes and ultimately be able to control them in many possible applications.

In 1878, a now iconic series of photographs instantly solved a long-standing mystery: Does a galloping horse touch the ground at all times? (It doesn’t.) The images of Eadweard Muybridge taken alongside a racetrack marked the beginning of high-speed photography.

Approximately 134 years later, researchers in the University of Arizona department of physics have solved a similar mystery, one in which super-excited oxygen molecules have replaced the horse, and ultrafast, high-energy laser flashes have replaced Muybridge’s photo emulsion plates. (more…)

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Study Finds Surprising Arctic Methane Emission Source

The fragile and rapidly changing Arctic region is home to large reservoirs of methane, a potent greenhouse gas. As Earth’s climate warms, the methane, frozen in reservoirs stored in Arctic tundra soils or marine sediments, is vulnerable to being released into the atmosphere, where it can add to global warming. Now a multi-institutional study by Eric Kort of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., has uncovered a surprising and potentially important new source of Arctic methane: the ocean itself. (more…)

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NASA Finds Sea Ice Driving Arctic Air Pollutants

PASADENA, Calif. – Drastic reductions in Arctic sea ice in the last decade may be intensifying the chemical release of bromine into the atmosphere, resulting in ground-level ozone depletion and the deposit of toxic mercury in the Arctic, according to a new NASA-led study.

The connection between changes in the Arctic Ocean’s ice cover and bromine chemical processes is determined by the interaction between the salt in sea ice, frigid temperatures and sunlight. When these mix, the salty ice releases bromine into the air and starts a cascade of chemical reactions called a “bromine explosion.” These reactions rapidly create more molecules of bromine monoxide in the atmosphere. Bromine then reacts with a gaseous form of mercury, turning it into a pollutant that falls to Earth’s surface. (more…)

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Global Rivers Emit Three Times IPCC Estimates of Greenhouse Gas Nitrous Oxide

*Waterways receiving nitrogen from human activities are significant source*

What goes in must come out, a truism that now may be applied to global river networks.

Human-caused nitrogen loading to river networks is a potentially important source of nitrous oxide emission to the atmosphere. Nitrous oxide is a potent greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change and stratospheric ozone destruction. (more…)

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