Iodine oxoacids formed in oceans have major impact on climate

February 08, 2021

Molecular iodine, a major emission from the ocean, can quickly convert to iodic oxoacids even under weak daylight conditions. These oxoacids lead rapidly to aerosol particles that significantly affect climate and human health.

Iodine-containing vapors that are emitted from oceans are a major source of aerosol particles. "Despite their importance to the climate, the formation of marine particles has been poorly understood," says Siddharth Iyer, Postdoctoral Researcher in Aerosol Physics Laboratory at Tampere University.

In this research, the formation of aerosol particles form from iodine-containing vapours under marine boundary layer conditions were studied. The experiments were carried out in the ultra-clean CLOUD chamber in CERN, where the nucleation and growth rates as well as the composition of freshly formed particles from iodic oxoacids (iodic acid and iodous acid) were measured.

These vapours derive from photolysis and oxidation of molecular iodine, for which the ocean surface is a major source. The conversion to iodine oxoacids were found to be extremely fast, even under weak daylight conditions. Although iodic acid was identified as the key vapour, a related species - iodous acid - was also found to play an important stabilizing role in the initial steps of neutral (uncharged) particle formation.

"Sulfuric acid is known to be key player in new particle formation, but our results indicate that iodine oxoacid particle formation can compete with sulfuric acid in pristine regions of the atmosphere. This significantly advances our understanding of aerosol formation," Iyer sums up.
-end-
The article Role of iodine oxoacids in atmospheric aerosol nucleation was published in Science.

Tampere University

Related Climate Articles from Brightsurf:

Are climate scientists being too cautious when linking extreme weather to climate change?
Climate science has focused on avoiding false alarms when linking extreme events to climate change.

Climate Insights 2020: Climate opinions unchanged by pandemic, but increasingly entrenched
A new survey provides a snapshot of American opinion on climate change as the nation's public health, economy, and social identity are put to the test.

Climate action goes digital
More transparent and accessible to everyone: information and communication technologies bring opportunities for transforming traditional climate diplomacy.

Sub-national 'climate clubs' could offer key to combating climate change
'Climate clubs' offering membership for sub-national states, in addition to just countries, could speed up progress towards a globally harmonized climate change policy, which in turn offers a way to achieve stronger climate policies in all countries.

Review of Chinese atmospheric science research over the past 70 years: Climate and climate change
Over the past 70 years since the foundation of the People's Republic of China, Chinese scientists have made great contributions to various fields in the research of atmospheric sciences, which attracted worldwide attention.

How aerosols affect our climate
Greenhouse gases may get more attention, but aerosols -- from car exhaust to volcanic eruptions -- also have a major impact on the Earth's climate.

Believing in climate change doesn't mean you are preparing for climate change, study finds
Notre Dame researchers found that although coastal homeowners may perceive a worsening of climate change-related hazards, these attitudes are largely unrelated to a homeowner's expectations of actual home damage.

How trees could save the climate
Around 0.9 billion hectares of land worldwide would be suitable for reforestation, which could ultimately capture two thirds of human-made carbon emissions.

Climate undermined by lobbying
For all the evidence that the benefits of reducing greenhouse gases outweigh the costs of regulation, disturbingly few domestic climate change policies have been enacted around the world so far.

Climate education for kids increases climate concerns for parents
A new study from North Carolina State University finds that educating children about climate change increases their parents' concerns about climate change.

Read More: Climate News and Climate Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.