October 7, 2008

Pacific ‘Chemical Equator’ is Discovered

British scientists say they've found a "chemical equator" that divides Northern Hemisphere polluted air from the mostly uncontaminated Southern Hemisphere.

University of York researchers said they discovered evidence of an approximately 30-mile-wide atmospheric chemical equator above the western Pacific Ocean.

The scientists said their findings show, for the first time, that the chemical and meteorological boundaries between the two hemispheric air masses are not necessarily the same. They said the discovery might provide important clues to help scientists model simulations of the movement of pollutants in the atmosphere more accurately, and to assess the impact of pollution on climate.

The research that included scientists from the Universities of Manchester and Cambridge, as well as Australia's Flinders University and the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, appeared in the Journal of Geophysical Research -- Atmospheres.