Air Chemistry

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  • 1 Geophysics Research Directorate, Air Force Cambridge Research Center
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The field of atmospheric chemistry, which is defined as the chemistry of trace substances in the troposphere, is reviewed. Trace substances can be present as aerosols or as gases. Major sources of aerosols are the ocean and industrial activities. The chemical composition of the aerosol particles is not only determined by their source but also by various processes in the atmosphere—notably, reactions with gas traces.

Only little is known about trace gases like SO2, H2S, NH3 or NO2. Of special importance for meteorology is CO2 and its long-term fluctuations. The facts and possible reasons for its 10 per cent increase during this century are discussed.

The last part of the discussion is concerned with the physical processes by which the trace substances are removed from the atmosphere, primarily the role of precipitation.

The field of atmospheric chemistry, which is defined as the chemistry of trace substances in the troposphere, is reviewed. Trace substances can be present as aerosols or as gases. Major sources of aerosols are the ocean and industrial activities. The chemical composition of the aerosol particles is not only determined by their source but also by various processes in the atmosphere—notably, reactions with gas traces.

Only little is known about trace gases like SO2, H2S, NH3 or NO2. Of special importance for meteorology is CO2 and its long-term fluctuations. The facts and possible reasons for its 10 per cent increase during this century are discussed.

The last part of the discussion is concerned with the physical processes by which the trace substances are removed from the atmosphere, primarily the role of precipitation.

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