Navigation Links
Pristine rainforests are 'biogeochemical reactors'
Date:9/16/2010

A multinational team that includes a North Carolina State University researcher has found another piece of the atmospheric puzzle surrounding the effects of aerosol particles on climate change. Their findings will contribute to our ability to more accurately measure human impact on climate, and to determine how much pollution may "mask" the actual rate of climate change.

Dr. Markus Petters, an NC State assistant professor of marine, earth and atmospheric sciences, traveled to the Amazon rainforest in a remote area of Brazil as part of a team that wanted to study how a rainforest behaved in the absence of any anthropogenic, or human, influence. They were particularly interested in the behavior of atmospheric aerosol particles, which play an important role in our climate system due to their ability to modify cloud formation and encourage or suppress precipitation.

Aerosol particles act as seeds for cloud formation and water condensation inside clouds. Some of these particles about one in a million form ice crystals inside the clouds, which initiate rainfall. In areas populated by humans, pollution serves as an additional source for these particles. In a pristine area such as the Amazon, where pollution is not a factor, the researchers found that the rainforest itself acted as a biogeochemical reactor, producing "fuel" for the rainclouds from organic molecules emitted by trees, as well as other biological matter such as plant debris, bacteria and pollen.

"The trees basically 'sweat out' organic molecules that react with compounds in the atmosphere, producing tiny particles that are around 20 to 200 nanometers in size," Petters says. "These particles seed the clouds. In addition, other biological particles form the ice nuclei for the clouds."

The researchers published their findings in the Sept. 17 issue of Science.

"We have to look at areas without anthropogenic influences and see what the aerosol budget is like without humans being involved," Petters says. "The Amazon is unique in that it provides a good place for us to observe atmospheric interactions without human influence, and to catalog baseline activity for the rainforest. If we understand that baseline well enough around the world, we can run simulations that show how human aerosol emissions modulate climate change."


'/>"/>

Contact: Tracey Peake
tracey_peake@ncsu.edu
919-515-6142
North Carolina State University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Millenium atoll: A pristine ecosystem
2. Plant fossils give first real picture of earliest Neotropical rainforests
3. New collaborative center to provide education, research on temperate rainforests
4. Princeton-led team finds secret ingredient for the health of tropical rainforests
5. New aid to biogeochemical research slated for materials characterization lab
6. Clean sampling from bioreactors
7. ExcellGene and Khner achieved milestone in development of novel 250 Liter mammalian cell culture bioreactors
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/2/2016)... , June 2, 2016 The Department ... has awarded the 44 million US Dollar project, for the ... Vehicle Plates including Personalization, Enrolment, and IT Infrastructure , ... in the production and implementation of Identity Management Solutions. Numerous ... however Decatur was selected for the ...
(Date:6/1/2016)... -- Favorable Government Initiatives Coupled With Implementation ... to Boost Global Biometrics System Market Through 2021  ... " Global Biometrics Market By Type, By End ... - 2021", the global biometrics market is projected to ... growing security concerns across various end use sectors such ...
(Date:5/16/2016)... --  EyeLock LLC , a market leader of iris-based ... IoT Center of Excellence in Austin, Texas ... embedded iris biometric applications. EyeLock,s iris authentication ... with unmatched biometric accuracy, making it the most proven ... platform uses video technology to deliver a fast and ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... is pleased to announce the launch of their brand, UP4™ Probiotics, into Target ... over 35 years, is proud to add Target to its list of well-respected ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... TORONTO , June 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ - ... Ontario biotechnology company, Propellon ... the development and commercialization of a portfolio of ... cancers. Epigenetic targets such as WDR5 represent an ... contribute significantly in precision medicine for cancer patients. ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... HOUSTON , June 23, 2016 ... agreement with the Cy-Fair Sports Association to serve ... of the agreement, Houston Methodist Willowbrook will provide ... education and connectivity with association coaches, volunteers, athletes ... partner with the Cy-Fair Sports Association and to ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Cancer Foundation (PCF) is pleased to announce 24 new Young Investigator (YI) ... of the Class of 2016 were selected from a pool of 128 applicants ... the Class of 2016 PCF Young Investigators ... ... ...
Breaking Biology Technology: