Scientists studying the atmosphere above Barrow, Alaska, have discovered unprecedented levels of molecular chlorine in the air, a new study reports.
Molecular chlorine, from sea salt released by melting sea ice, reacts with sunlight to produce chlorine atoms. These chlorine atoms are highly reactive and can oxidize many constituents of the atmosphere including methane and elemental mercury, as well activate bromine chemistry, which is an even stronger oxidant of elemental mercury. Oxidized mercury is more reactive and can be deposited to the Arctic ecosystem.
Most large cities are warming at twice the rate of the planet as a whole. Not only does that mean more discomfort during already warm summer months, but also contributes to heat-related illness and death. In a recently published book, The City and the Coming Climate: Climate Change in the Places We Live, Associate Professor Brian Stone offers strategies that address climate change at the urban scale.