Navigation Links
Pristine rainforests are 'biogeochemical reactors'

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
North Carolina State University

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:
(Date:11/17/2015)... , November 17, 2015 Paris ... 2015.   --> Paris from 17 ... DERMALOG, the biometrics innovation leader, has invented the first ... fingerprints on the same scanning surface. Until now two different ... Now one scanner can capture both on the same ...
(Date:11/12/2015)... BOSTON , Nov. 12, 2015  A golden ... for Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) has provided a new ... Boston Children,s Hospital, the Broad Institute of MIT and ... Brazil . Cell, ... some dogs "escape" the disease,s effects. The Boston Children,s ...
(Date:11/10/2015)... About signature verification Signature ... identify and verify the identity of an individual ... secure and accurate method of authentication and is ... because each individual,s signature is highly unique. Signature ... signature of an individual is compared and matched ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... 2015  Neurocrine Biosciences, Inc. (Nasdaq: NBIX ) ... CEO of Neurocrine Biosciences, will be presenting at the ... New York . .   ... 5 minutes prior to the presentation to download or ... will be available on the website approximately one hour ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... A long-standing partnership ... Professionals (OPBAP) has been formalized with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding. ... OPBAP leaders Capt. Karl Minter and Capt. Albert Glenn Tuesday, November 24, 2015, ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... Oregon , November 25, 2015 ... Market Research Report is a professional and in-depth ... industry.      (Logo: ) ... overview of the industry including definitions, classifications, applications ... is provided for the international markets including development ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... Malaysia , Nov. 24, 2015  Asia-Pacific ... contract research organisation (CRO) market. The trend of ... in lower margins but higher volume share for ... capacity and scale, however, margins in the CRO ... Organisation (CRO) Market ( ), finds ...
Breaking Biology Technology: