📰 CLOUD has discovered a new process by which aerosols form and grow rapidly at high altitudes

The particles resulting from this process spread rapidly around the world, and can influence the Earth’s climate on an intercontinental scale.


View of the CLOUD experiment at CERN (Image: CERN)

The particles ofaerosol (An aerosol is a set of particles, solid or liquid, of a chemical substance …) can be formed and grown into troposphere (The troposphere is the part of the Earth’s atmosphere located between the Earth’s surface and a …) ng Lupa (Earth is the third planet in the Solar System in order of distance …) according to a process not yet listed, announces CLOUD’s partnership in an article1published in the journal Nature. The mechanism observed may represent an important source of particles that are likely to serve as seeds for the crystals of ice (Ice is water in the solid state.) and clouds in areas in the upper troposphere where theammonia (Ammonia is a chemical compound, with the formula NH3 (generic group of …) nature a transportation (Transportation is the act of carrying an object, or a person, from one place to another, the most …) vertically (The (rare) vertical, or upright style, is a style of musical writing that consists of …) effective, for example in the above areas of Rainy season (Monsoon is the name of the periodic wind system in tropical regions, …) sa Asia (Asia is one of the five continents or part of the supercontinent Eurasia or Afro-Eurasia of …).

It is known that aerosol particles tend to cool climate (Climate is the statistical distribution of atmospheric conditions in a …) because they reflect the light (Light is the range of electromagnetic waves visible to the eye …) ng Day (The Sun (Sol in Latin, Helios or Ήλιος in Greek) is the star …), they return it to space, and they make the clouds more reflective. But what is still not fully understood is how the new aerosol particles are formed inenvironment (The word environment can have many meanings 🙂.

Newly formed aerosol particles are everywhere in the upper troposphere, but the vapors and mechanisms that cause the formation of these particles are not fully understood.explanation by Jasper Kirkby, spokesman for the CLOUD collaboration. Thanks to experiments conducted in the CLOUD room at CERN, under the typical cold conditions of the upper troposphere, we discovered a new mechanism of very rapid formation and growth of particles, in which vapor mixtures are intervened. who do not know. far away.

By continuing on cloud room (The cloud chamber is a particle detector where ionization is produced by …)atmospheric concentrations, vapor mixtures ofsulfuric acid (Sulfuric acid (formerly called vitriol or vitriol oil) is a compound …)ngnitric acid (Nitric acid, sometimes called nitric acid, is a liquid chemical compound …) and ammonia, the CLOUD team found that these three components, in synergy, form new particles faster than when only two of the components were present. All three vapors combined were found to form new particles 10 to 1000 times faster than one. mixed (A mixture is an association of two or more solid, liquid or gaseous substances …) ngacid (Acid is a chemical compound usually determined by its reactions …) sulfuric acid and ammonia, a mixture that, based on previous CLOUD measurements, is considered the dominant source of particles from the upper troposphere. When particles containing these three elements are formed, they can grow rapidly from condensation (Condensation is the name given to the physical phenomenon of changing the state of matter …) One combination (A combination might be 🙂 of nitric acid and ammonia only, to reach size (In the common sense, the notion of dimension refers to size; the dimensions of a …) where they can lead to the formation of clouds.

In addition, measurements made by CLOUD show that these particles are very good at producing ice crystals, as well as dust particles of desert (The word desert now refers to a barren place or one that is not very pleasant to …), which is thought to be the most common and efficient source of ice crystal formation in the atmosphere. When a hydrothermal drop is present in a clouds (A cloud is a large amount of water drops (or ice crystals) in …) freezing, the resulting ice grain will grow at the expense of nearby unfrozen drops; this is why ice has a major influence on the microphysical properties of clouds and on precipitation.

The CLOUD team then fed their measurements into global aerosol models including the vertical transport of ammonia through clouds of convection (Convection is a method of energy transfer that involves the movement of …) deep. The models show that even if the particles are formed locally in ammonia -rich areas in the upper troposphere, for example in monsoon areas in Asia, they move, and can reachAmerica (America is a separate continent, to the west, from Asia and …) ng North (North is a cardinal point, opposite south.) of only three day (The sun or the sun is the interval that separates sunrise from sunset; it is the …) Thanks to jet stream (A jet stream, also commonly referred to in the English name of the jet …) subtropical, thus influencing the Earth’s climate on an intercontinental scale.

Our studies will strengthen the reliability of global climate models as they allow them to consider the formation of aerosols in the upper troposphere and to predict future climate changes.where Jasper Kirby. Again, CLOUD found that anthropogenic ammonia has a significant influence on atmospheric aerosol particles, and our studies will be a useful piece of information for future regulations regarding air pollution.wind (Air is the mixture of gases that make up the Earth’s atmosphere. It is odorless and …).

Atmospheric concentrations of sulfuric acid, nitric acid and ammonia were lower in the period before the industry than they are today, and for each component, the evolutions are likely to vary depending on future regulations being implemented. thing (Matter is the substance that makes up any body with tangible reality. Its …) of air pollution. Ammonia in the upper troposphere comes from animal emissions and fertilizer (Fertilizers are ingredients, usually mixed elements …)currently uncontrolled, and blown away altitude (Altitude is the vertical elevation of an area or object relative to a level …) in droplets subject to convection, which, on freezing, releases the ammonia it contains.


Simulation of aerosol particle formation during the Asian monsoon, in a global model for aerosols with efficient vertical transport of ammonia carrying it into the upper troposphere. Incorporating into the model a mixture of sulfuric acid, nitric acid and ammonia increases the concentration of particles in the upper troposphere by a factor of 3 to 5 compared to what the same model does with only sulfuric acid and ammonia. .
(Photo: CLOUD collaboration)

Photos: https://cds.cern.ch/record/2806655

Note:
1 – Wang, M. et al. Synergistic HNO3-H2SO4-NH3 upper tropospheric particle formation. Nature, doi: 10.1038/s41586-022-04605-4 (2022).

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