Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

FP5

Aerosol Formation from Natural Compounds Emitted by Vegetation

Funded under: FP5

Abstract

A project funded by the EC has been investigating the effect of vegetation on ozone concentrations in the troposphere.

It has long been known that vegetation releases organic compounds call terpenes, which form aerosol substances in the upper atmosphere and help determine the chemical composition of the troposphere. It is estimated that the mass of organic compounds released by vegetation is several times greater than that released by human activity. New developments in the technology of detecting aerosols, such as differential mobility analysis and liquid chromatography mass spectrometers, have allowed more accurate evaluation of the effects of terpenes in the atmosphere.

The terpenes have a number of effects on OH radicals (produced by the reaction of ozone with water molecules), nitrogen oxides and ozone. They cause seasonal variation in ozone concentration- a small maximum in early spring, followed by a large summer maximum- which must be factored into measurements of human effects on the chemistry of the atmosphere. The improved understanding provided by the project of how the complex climate regulation system works should help assessment of the damage being done by manufactured aerosols. ls.

Additional information

Authors: LARSEN B R, European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Environment Institute, Unit of Atmospheric Processes in Global Change, Ispra (IT);DUANE M, European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Environment Institute, Unit of Atmospheric Processes in Global Change, Ispra (IT);GLASIUS M, European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Environment Institute, Unit of Atmospheric Processes in Global Change, Ispra (IT);KOTZIAS D (EDITORS), European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Environment Institute, Unit of Atmospheric Processes in Global Change, Ispra (IT)
Bibliographic Reference: EUR 19591 EN (2000) 107 pp.
Availability: Available from the European Commission
Record Number: 200012231 / Last updated on: 2000-09-20
Category: PUBLICATION
Original language: en
Available languages: en