Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Understanding impacts of aerosols and trace gases on climate and air quality

Date:
June 29, 2011
Source:
Helsingin yliopisto (University of Helsinki)
Summary:
Atmospheric aerosol particles (otherwise known as particulate matter) have been masking the true rate of greenhouse gas induced global warming during the industrial period. New investigations show that the aerosol cooling effect will be strongly reduced by 2030, as air pollution abatements are implemented worldwide and the presently available advanced control technologies are utilized. These actions would increase the global mean temperature by roughly 1 degree Celsius.

Atmospheric aerosol particles (otherwise known as particulate matter) have been masking the true rate of greenhouse gas induced global warming during the industrial period. New investigations show that the aerosol cooling effect will be strongly reduced by 2030, as air pollution abatements are implemented worldwide and the presently available advanced control technologies are utilized. These actions would increase the global mean temperature by ca. 1 degree Celsius. This is one of the main research outcomes of the recently concluded EU EUCAARI (European Integrated project on Aerosol Cloud Climate and Air Quality Interaction) project.

The positive impacts of aerosols are partially off-setting global warming, but at the same time aerosol particles have a negative effect on public health, causing thousands on premature deaths in Europe annually.

Identification of efficient strategies for air pollution control in Europe was another key outcome of EUCAARI. It was found that the reduction in ammonia emissions is one of the most effective ways to reduce aerosol mass concentrations and thus improve air quality in Europe. Reduction in nitric oxides is also effective, but might lead to higher ozone levels, thereby leading to another negative impact on air quality. Reduction in sulphur dioxide emissions will reduce particulate air pollution especially in the Eastern Mediterranean area.

Reduction of organic aerosol concentrations is a lot more challenging and will require reductions of gas and aerosol emissions from transportation and biomass burning. Furthermore, it is now shown that a large fraction of organic aerosols in Europe is of modern origin (as opposed to fossil fuel origins), for which the main sources are biogenic secondary organic aerosol (boreal forests), biomass burning and primary biogenic aerosol particles. All these emission sources are expected to respond to climate change, although the exact magnitude and nature of these responses remains uncertain.

The EUCAARI project, coordinated by Professor Markku Kulmala from University of Helsinki, Finland, has been the most extensive aerosol research project in Europe so far. The total budget of the project was 15 million Euros, of which 10 million Euros was provided by the European Commission FP6 Programme. In all, 48 research institutes from 24 countries participated in this project, carried out in 2007-2010.The project has led to significantly more information on the whole physical background related to aerosol formation and impacts at all scales; from nanoscale to global, from milliseconds to centuries. The quantification of the effect of aerosols on the radiative balance (cooling or heating) of the planet has been one of the most urgent tasks to underpin more informed projections of future climate change.

The project performed extensive studies from ground-based, aircraft and satellite platforms not only in Europe, but also in China, South-Africa, Brazil and India. These studies improved the theoretical understanding of the aerosol life-cycle, enabling us to make major improvements in climate and air pollution models and present new air pollution scenarios over Europe. The project outcome has been targeted to reinforce European political decision-making to develop new strategies and implementation plans for global air quality monitoring and to take Europe a leading role in developing and applying environmental technologies.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Helsingin yliopisto (University of Helsinki). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Helsingin yliopisto (University of Helsinki). "Understanding impacts of aerosols and trace gases on climate and air quality." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 June 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110629083115.htm>.
Helsingin yliopisto (University of Helsinki). (2011, June 29). Understanding impacts of aerosols and trace gases on climate and air quality. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110629083115.htm
Helsingin yliopisto (University of Helsinki). "Understanding impacts of aerosols and trace gases on climate and air quality." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110629083115.htm (accessed September 18, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Elephant Undergoes Surgery in Tbilisi Zoo

Raw: Elephant Undergoes Surgery in Tbilisi Zoo

AP (Sep. 18, 2014) Grand the elephant has successfully undergone surgery to remove a portion of infected tusk at Tbilisi Zoo in Georgia. British veterinary surgeons used an electric drill to extract the infected piece. (Sept. 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Squid experts in New Zealand thawed and examined an unusual catch on Tuesday: a colossal squid. It was captured in Antarctica's remote Ross Sea in December last year and has been frozen for eight months. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) A Texas man is lucky to be alive after he and three others floated for more than a day in the Gulf of Mexico when their boat sank during a fishing trip. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Explore Shipwrecks Off Calif. Coast

Researchers Explore Shipwrecks Off Calif. Coast

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Federal researchers are exploring more than a dozen underwater sites where they believe ships sank in the treacherous waters west of San Francisco in the decades following the Gold Rush. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
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