Researchers gaze at cloud formations

Nov 22, 2006

Finnish researchers analyzing cloud formations say ozone destruction in the Earth's stratosphere might be occurring at a faster pace than thought.

Anatoli Bogdan and colleagues at the University of Helsinki say they reached that conclusion after studying low-temperature thin and subvisible cirrus, or SVC.

SVCs cover about one-third of the planet and affect global temperatures by reflecting sunlight back into space and preventing terrestrial heat from escaping into space. In addition, the scientists say ice particles in SVCs have a drying or dehydrating effect on the upper troposphere.

"Here we show, to our best knowledge for the first time, that the small ice particles are not completely solid, as is usually believed, but rather coated with a sulfuric acid/water overlayer," the researchers said.

The coating reduces the rate at which ice particles grow and remove water vapor -- a key greenhouse gas -- from the upper troposphere. That leaves more water vapor to contribute to the greenhouse effect.

The coating further affects greenhouse warming by slightly increasing reflection of sunlight back into space and reducing the escape of terrestrial heat.

The study appeared in the Nov. 16 issue of the Journal of Physical Chemistry A.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Magnesium surgical implants can be designed to biodegrade, promote bone growth

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Free pores for molecule transport

Jul 31, 2014

Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) can take up gases similar to a sponge that soaks up liquids. Hence, these highly porous materials are suited for storing hydrogen or greenhouse gases. However, loading of many ...

Climate engineering offers little hope of mitigation

Jul 04, 2014

Injecting particles into the stratosphere to shade and cool the Earth will never stop climate change. This is the shocking claim made in the July issue of Nature Climate Change by an international group ...

Recommended for you

Moving single cells around—accurately and cheaply

17 hours ago

Scientists at the Houston Methodist Research Institute have figured out how to pick up and transfer single cells using a pipette—a common laboratory tool that's been tweaked slightly. They describe this ...

The difficult question of Clostridium difficile

20 hours ago

The bacterium Clostridium difficile causes antibiotic-related diarrhoea and is a growing problem in the hospital environment and elsewhere in the community. Understanding how the microbe colonises the hu ...

User comments : 0