Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Human Activity Raises Level Of Sulfur Gas That Affects Ozone Layer, Researchers Say

Date:
May 17, 2002
Source:
American Geophysical Union
Summary:
New estimates obtained from ice core samples collected from the Siple Dome, West Antarctica, suggest that human activities have contributed approximately 25 percent of the modern carbonyl sulfide in the atmosphere. The results of the study, based on the first such measurements taken from ice, by Murat Aydin and colleagues at the University of California at Irvine, are published this month in the journal, Geophysical Research Letters, published by the American Geophysical Union.

WASHINGTON - The most abundant sulfur gas in the lowest layer of the Earth's atmosphere is carbonyl sulfide. While carbonyl sulfide is formed naturally, it is also produced through a chemical reaction in the atmosphere involving carbon disulfide, a chemical produced by a variety of industrial processes.

Human-produced carbonyl sulfide has attracted attention as a possible source of increased levels of sulfate particles, or aerosols, in the atmosphere, which have been linked to depletion of the ozone layer. Sulfate aerosols also influence global climate, causing cooling effects by scattering incoming solar rays and reducing the amount of radiation that reaches the Earth.

New estimates obtained from ice core samples collected from the Siple Dome, West Antarctica, suggest that human activities have contributed approximately 25 percent of the modern carbonyl sulfide in the atmosphere. The results of the study, based on the first such measurements taken from ice, by Murat Aydin and colleagues at the University of California at Irvine, are published this month in the journal, Geophysical Research Letters, published by the American Geophysical Union.

The collected ice core samples provide researchers with an archive of air from 1616 to 1694, allowing them to determine the concentration of carbonyl sulfide prior to industrial inputs. To collect air trapped within the ice, the researchers crushed the eleven core samples within a vacuum. The samples were then analyzed to obtain a mean carbonyl sulfide mixing ratio, or concentration of carbonyl sulfide in the sample, expressed in parts per trillion by volume (pptv), over the 78-year period.

This pre-industrial mixing ratio is approximately three-quarters that of the modern carbonyl sulfide mixing ratio, suggesting that approximately 25 percent of the modern atmospheric carbonyl sulfide is generated through human activity.

The researchers also found no loss of carbonyl sulfide from the ice cores over time. This means that with further measurements, it should be possible to generate a record of atmospheric carbonyl sulfide concentrations further back through time, and allow researchers to develop a baseline against which to measure current carbonyl sulfide levels. Because the gas is generated both naturally and through human activities, a baseline would help scientists assess the effect of human activity on carbonyl sulfide, and ultimately sulfate aerosols, in the upper atmosphere.

The researchers also note that developing a paleoatmospheric record of carbonyl sulfide will allow them to better understand the natural variability associated with the complicated sources and sinks of carbonyl sulfide, and to study how climate influences biogeochemical cycles over time.

This research was supported by the National Science Foundation.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Geophysical Union. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Geophysical Union. "Human Activity Raises Level Of Sulfur Gas That Affects Ozone Layer, Researchers Say." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 May 2002. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/05/020517075920.htm>.
American Geophysical Union. (2002, May 17). Human Activity Raises Level Of Sulfur Gas That Affects Ozone Layer, Researchers Say. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/05/020517075920.htm
American Geophysical Union. "Human Activity Raises Level Of Sulfur Gas That Affects Ozone Layer, Researchers Say." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/05/020517075920.htm (accessed August 20, 2014).

Share This




More Earth & Climate News

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape

Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape

AP (Aug. 20, 2014) Nine years after Hurricane Katrina, charter schools are the new reality of public education in New Orleans. The state of Louisiana took over most of the city's public schools after the killer storm in 2005. (Aug. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Green Power Blooms as Japan Unveils 'hydrangea Solar Cell'

Green Power Blooms as Japan Unveils 'hydrangea Solar Cell'

AFP (Aug. 19, 2014) A solar cell that resembles a flower is offering a new take on green energy in Japan, where one scientist is searching for renewables that look good. Duration: 01:29 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Disquieting Times for Malaysia's 'fish Listeners'

Disquieting Times for Malaysia's 'fish Listeners'

AFP (Aug. 19, 2014) Malaysia's last "fish listeners" -- practitioners of a dying local art of listening underwater to locate their quarry -- try to keep the ancient technique alive in the face of industrial trawling and the depletion of stocks. Duration: 02:29 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Wildfire Hits California's Angeles National Forest

Wildfire Hits California's Angeles National Forest

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 17, 2014) A wildfire sweeps across the Angeles National Forest prompting campers to quickly leave as officials began evacuating the area -- local media. Gavino Garay reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins