Solving Hazy Mysteries

New research plumbs the chemical evolution and climatic effect of aerosols

12:44pm, December 2, 2002

The picturesque hazes of Tennessee's Smoky Mountains appear when volatile organic chemicals released by trees react with other gases in the atmosphere. And every time a raindrop falls into the ocean, microscopic droplets of salt water splatter upward into the atmosphere. Both mountain haze and fine ocean spray are nature's aerosols. People's penchant for burning fossil fuels is now creating a rival source of aerosol formation.

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