Latest Issue of Science News


News

Cool Harvest: Frost on sea ice may boost atmosphere's bromine

Frost flowers, the delicate crystals that sometimes grow atop fresh sea ice, can be a substantial source of ozone-destroying bromine in the lower atmosphere near the poles, researchers suggest.

Over tropical and temperate seas, salt spray from breaking waves provides most of the low-altitude atmospheric bromine. The origin of bromine over ice-bound oceans has remained a mystery, but several lines of evidence now point to frost flowers as culprits. These arrangements of needlelike ice crystals often grow on the new ice that forms rapidly in frigid conditions.

Note: To comment, Science News subscribing members must now establish a separate login relationship with Disqus. Click the Disqus icon below, enter your e-mail and click “forgot password” to reset your password. You may also log into Disqus using Facebook, Twitter or Google.

X
This article is available only to subscribing members. Join SSP today or Log in.