A team of Los Alamos scientists recently returned from a month-long data-gathering trip to Mexico City as part of an international, multi-agency environmental science collaboration. The March campaign was designed to examine the chemical and physical transformations of gases and aerosols in the polluted outflow from the Mexico City metropolitan area. With a population of 25 million, Mexico City is North Americas largest city, what scientists are calling a megacity. As such, it provides an excellent testing ground for understanding the regional and global impacts of increasing urbanization.
The Los Alamos team was led by Manvendra Dubey and included Claudio Mazzoleni and Thom Rahn. Together, they performed measurements of the radiative and optical properties of soot using a state-of-the-art Los Alamos-developed field-deployable photo-acoustic instrument. The Los Alamos team also provided the only measurements of molecular hydrogen in Mexico City. The Los Alamos measurements were designed to provide a unique data set for quantifying Mexico Citys atmospheric soot, which is little more than fine carbon particles.
Soot is produced by diesel combustion, burning of biomass and power plants. Soot-containing aerosols absorb solar radiation, which causes atmospheric warming. However, soots warming potential is determined by complex interactions with other anthropogenic aerosols, such as sulfate and organics, which by scattering solar radiation tend to offset the warming caused by pure soot.
Todd Hanson | EurekAlert!
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The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
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