Urban pollution enhances up to 400% formation of aerosols over the Amazon rainforest

phys.org | 3/29/2019 | Staff
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A study by an international team of researchers, including Brazilian scientists, shows that urban pollution from Manaus, the capital of Amazonas State in Brazil, increases the formation of aerosols via the Amazon Rainforest far more than expected.

This sharp increase in aerosols produced by the forest has a significant impact on key drivers of global climate change, such as radioactive balance, production of clouds and rain, and the rate of plant photosynthesis. Where urban pollution does not affect the forest, organic aerosols are produced by soil in the region, but in far smaller quantities, according to the study.

Research - Forests - Basis - Climate - Modeling

Similar research concerning boreal forests, which were used as a basis for global climate modeling, have shown a maximum increase in levels of secondary organic aerosols of 60 percent due to pollution from nearby cities.

"For the first time, we were able to model and predict aerosol levels in the Amazon. Climate models based on the Northern Hemisphere are known not to apply to the Amazon Rainforest. We realized that the numbers derived from other studies didn't add up. The results of this new study will therefore make meteorological models more accurate and refine regional as well as global climate modeling," said published in Nature Communications, urban pollution results in an average increase of 200 percent in the formation of secondary organic aerosols, with spikes of up to 400 percent. FAPESP supported the study as part of the Green Ocean Amazon Experiment and a Thematic Project linked to the Research Program on Global Climate Change.

Paulo - Artaxo - Professor - University - São

Paulo Artaxo, full professor at the University of São Paulo's Physics Institute (IF-USP) and one of the authors of the article, says the next step is to include tropical aerosol chemistry in global climate models, such as those used by the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), for example, so...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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