Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Just another reason to love trees....

CAN TREES MAKE CLOUDS FORM? (Kate Baggaley, 5/25/16, Popular Science)

Physicists at CERN used a cloud chamber to see whether aerosols—particles that can become the seeds for new clouds—can form from vapors emitted by trees.

Previously, scientists thought that sulfuric acid (abundant in our atmosphere thanks to burning fossil fuels) was necessary to form most of these cloud-seeding particles. In the cloud chamber, though, the particles successfully formed without sulfuric acid to help them along. And with help from galactic cosmic rays (which infiltrate our atmosphere from space), the tree vapors turned into cloud-seeding particles 10 times faster.