Sulfate Aerosol Pollution in Stratosphere Blamed Coal, Oil and Biomass 1

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Scientists link coal, oil, and biomass to a layer of sulfates high above Asia

Pollution above Asia: Layer in stratosphere may originate from global sources

Factories line the shores of the lower Yangtze River in China. Although large amounts of sulfate aerosols are emitted by China and India, a layer of sulfur pollution that forms high above Asia each summer may include emissions from more distant sources. (©UCAR. Photo by Willliam Bradford.)

February 19, 2014 | Sulfur pollution from human activities is likely the cause of a large layer of sulfate particles, or aerosols, that form over Asia during the summer months, researchers have found. But it’s not just pollution from Asia that’s responsible.

In a paper recently published in the Journal of Geophysical Research, NCAR Advanced Study Program postdoctoral fellow Ryan Neely and his colleagues concluded that the layer of sulfate aerosols is most likely due to emissions from burning coal, oil, and biomass. About 30 percent of the emissions that contribute to the layer come from China and India. The rest of the sulfates come from more distant sources, including other parts of Asia, the Middle East, and North America*** continue

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