Geophysical Research Letters, doi:10.1029/2012GL051800, 2012
Title: Contrasting ocean changes between the subpolar and polar North Atlantic during the past 135 ka
Authors: Henning A. Bauch: Akademie der Wisssenschaften und der Literatur Mainz, Helmholtz-Zentrum fur Ozeanforschung, Kiel, Germany;
Evguenia S. Kandiano: Helmholtz-Zentrum fur Ozeanforschung, Kiel, Germany;
Jan P. Helmke: Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies, Potsdam, Germany.
5. Gas from pollutants, forest fires at potentially toxic levels
Forest fires and emission of air pollutants, which include fumes from vehicles running on diesel and slow burning of coal and charcoal, release isocyanic acid in the troposphere. In 2011, scientists first detected isocyanic acid in the ambient atmosphere at levels that are toxic to human populations; at concentrations exceeding 1 parts-per-billion by volume (ppbv), human beings could experience tissue decay when exposed to the toxin.
For the first time, using a chemical transport model designed to estimate the distribution and budget of isocyanic acid in the troposphere, Young et al. show that in several parts of the world, local emissions may increase the concentration of isocyanic acid in ambient atmosphere, thereby exposing large populations to potentially toxic levels of the acid.
Their research shows that regions that experience large forest fires, such as
tropical Africa, Southeast Asia, Siberia, Canada, and the Amazon, or are heavily
polluted, like China, are particularly vulnerable. In these regions, concentrations
of isocyanic acid in the atmosphere exceeded the 1 ppbv limit for about 7-90 days
|Contact: Mary Catherine Adams|
American Geophysical Union