Scientists solve the mystery of the cleanest air on Earth

England – Scientists have discovered that rain and clouds play a major role in making the air over the Southern Ocean the cleanest on the planet.

Although this Antarctic ocean has little human activity, it is still unclean due to aerosols from natural sources, such as salt from the sea, dust from the wind, or particles from small plant-like organisms called plankton. Vegetarianism.

But scientists said that clouds and rain play a major role in cleaning the atmosphere over the Antarctic Ocean.

Scientists used data from a new generation of satellites to develop a computer program to identify different cloud patterns over vast areas of this ocean.

They looked in particular for distinctive honeycomb-shaped patterns in clouds that are known to play a key role in climate regulation.

The honeycomb cells in these special clouds are either in an “open” or “closed” state, with respect to the amount of rain that falls on the area they cover.

Scientists compared data from the honeycomb cloud pattern analysis with aerosol measurements from the Cape Grim Observatory in Tasmania, as well as with rainfall observations from the Bureau of Meteorology.

They found that days with cleaner air were associated with open honeycomb clouds, which scientists suspect generate intermittent but intense rain showers that can “wash” aerosol particles from the air.

In the open state, these clouds appear to hold more moisture and produce more rain than closed, fluffy white clouds.

“We found that open clouds produce six times more rain than closed clouds, and we found that empty (open) honeycomb cells are more common during the winter months, when the air is purer,” the scientists wrote in The Conversation.

Scientists reported that these honeycomb patterns were also found in the North Atlantic and North Pacific regions during the winter.

Through future studies, scientists hope to explain how clouds in these areas remove aerosols, including dust and pollution.

Source: Independent

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2024-04-17 14:46:48

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