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A source of haze

Scientists identify how a hydrocarbon commonly emitted by plants is converted to light-scattering aerosols

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2:25pm, August 6, 2009

Scientists now know how a natural hydrocarbon emitted in large quantities by plants can be transformed into light-scattering aerosols that contribute to haze and influence climate. The finding will improve models of atmospheric chemistry and climate and may help explain puzzling field observations in some parts of the world, the researchers report.

Worldwide, plants release more than 550 million metric tons of the hydrocarbon isoprene into the atmosphere each year. But scientists have disagreed about the particular chain of chemical reactions that transform isoprene into haze-forming aerosols, says Fabien Paulot, an atmospheric ch

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