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Saturday, December 3, 2016

Detected more than 500 sources of dangerous air pollution


A study of satellite data showed that humanity may underestimate the speed at which the pollution of the atmosphere. An international group of scientists, who published their study in the journal Nature Geosciences, was able to detect about 40 previously unknown source of sulfur dioxide — a substance that can harm human health and the environment in General. All sources of hazardous substances detected more than 500, and very many of them have anthropogenic origin.

Experts say that sulfur dioxide is typically lingers in the atmosphere for a while — just for a few days or even hours — however it is quite harmful to monitor its content in the atmosphere is still needed. Sources of pollution of this kind can be as natural — for example, volcanoes, and anthropogenic, such as oil refineries, writes The Guardian.

Still in search of sources of sulfur dioxide emissions was hampered by the fact that finding them mostly succeeded where their advance had expected to see. At the same time, to detect entirely unknown sources from satellite imagery often was not possible due to the fact that they are often “masked” in the wind. However, the authors of a new study have developed a new method of analysis, and found that so far from the attention of the scientists escaped dozens of sources of sulfur dioxide, so, in the atmosphere, apparently, contains many millions of tons more of this substance than previously thought.

Only, after analyzing satellite data from 2005 to 2014, scientists have detected about 500 sources of sulfur dioxide, of which 75 represent the volcanoes are natural sources, the rest, in all probability, have a technological origin. The greatest number of sources of pollution, according to scientists, was recorded in the middle East, but in any quantity they were found in various parts of the world.

Interestingly, the sulfur dioxide emissions do not accelerate, and Vice versa, often temporarily inhibit the rate of global warming. However useful to the ecology of this fact it does not, the researchers said.

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