Atmospheric pollution research

Atmospheric pollution research

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Credit: DAVID HAY JONES/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Atmospheric pollution research. PROPHET tower (Program for Research on Oxidants: Photochemistry, Emissions and Transport) at UMBS (University of Michigan Biological Station), Pellston, Michigan, USA. The 30-metre-tall tower uses instruments high above the forest canopy to obtain meteorological data and measure pollutant levels. The pollutants studied are nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds. Interactions between these pollutants and sunlight forms ozone, which is a pollutant in the lower atmosphere. The PROPHET program, started in 1996, also studies the interaction between the forest and the atmosphere. Nitrogen pollutants can increase plant growth, but ozone reduces it.

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