Pine Trees' Role in Climate Change

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A recent study from a team of researchers in Germany, Finland and the University of Washington in the United States has discovered why the scent particles given off by pine trees become an aerosol above the forest that plays a major role in climate change. When the pine tree vapors become aerosols, they reflect sunlight back into the atmosphere and promote cooling and the formation of clouds.

A recent study from a team of researchers in Germany, Finland and the University of Washington in the United States has discovered why the scent particles given off by pine trees become an aerosol above the forest that plays a major role in climate change.


When the pine tree vapors become aerosols, they reflect sunlight back into the atmosphere and promote cooling and the formation of clouds.

Dr Mikael Ehn the lead author of the study is quoted as saying: "If you go into a pine forest and notice that pine forest smell, that could be the smell that actually limits climate change from reaching such levels that it could become really a problem in the world."

Although previous studies have shown that pine tree vapors become aerosols in the atmosphere, the results of this study identified a previously unknown step in the process where ultra-low volatility organic vapors condense onto surfaces or other particles.

To make their discovery, researchers took air samples from a forest in Finland and tested the samples using innovative technological equipment at the Julich Research Centre in Germany.

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