Hamilton College professor/students publish findings in JACS
Researchers at Hamilton College have identified several methods for successfully determining the structures and thermodynamic values for the formation of atmospheric water clusters, which scientists have speculated may accelerate global warming. The Hamilton teams findings were published in the March 3 issue of the Journal of the American Chemical Society.
The greenhouse effect is caused by molecules that absorb infrared radiation released from the Earths surface, trapping heat in the atmosphere. Water acts as a greenhouse gas because it is one of the molecules that can absorb infrared radiation and cause warming. "Our research supports the suggestion that in a global warming scenario higher temperatures will lead to increased absorption of solar radiation by water clusters," said lead author, George Shields, the Winslow Professor of Chemistry at Hamilton College. "The prediction that higher order water clusters (trimers, tetramers, and pentamers) are present in the atmosphere is significant because it shows that these entities must be considered as key players in atmospheric processes."
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