Jan 25, 2012

Researchers have discovered a particle that can counteract the effect of global warming

A team of researchers from three institutes prestigious in the U.S. and UK have discovered a particle that could be used to “cleanse” the atmosphere and cool the planet, counteracting the effects of global warming.

The particles have been codenamed “Criegee bi-radicals” and their existence was postulated in the ’50s by Rudolf Criegee. These particles have been detected only recently, with a unique device, designed in the National Research Laboratory Sandia in the US.

Researchers found that these invisible particles oxidize pollutants such as nitrogen dioxide and sulfur dioxide that are produced by combustion, thus cleaning astmosfera.

Scientists have observed that the Criegee bi-radicals react more quickly than previously thought, accelerating the formation of sulphate and nitrate in the atmosphere. These compounds stimulate the formation of aerosols and subsequent cloud formation that have the potential to cool the planet.

In the last hundred years, the average temperature recorded at the Earth’s surface increased by approximately 0.8° C, 66% of this increase taking place in the last three decades. Dr. Carl Percival at the University of Manchester, one of the authors of the study, says that the Criegee bi-radicals could be used to fight pollution and global warming.

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