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Ammonia from Agriculture Can Influence Clouds over Asia

Climate researchers solve the mystery of a huge aerosol layer in the atmosphere

Jülich/Karlsruhe, 9 July 2019 – The Asian tropopause aerosol layer (ATAL) covers an area above the Middle East and Asia at an altitude of 12–18 km. This accumulation of aerosols was first verified in 2011 during the Asian monsoon, but the composition of the layer and the effect it has remained uninvestigated. A European consortium of scientists has now shown that shown that one of the main constituents of the layer is crystalline ammonium nitrate, and they have also traced its origin. Their findings have been published in Nature Geoscience.

Infrarotspektrometer CRISTA­
Copyright: NASA

Original publication: Michael Höpfner, Jörn Ungermann, Stephan Borrmann, Robert Wagner, Reinhold Spang et al.: Ammonium nitrate particles formed in upper troposphere from ground ammonia sources during Asian monsoons, Nature Geoscience, 2019.
DOI: 10.1038/s41561-019-0385-8

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