The cleanest air within the world has been discovered in the Antarctic Ocean , consistent with a groundbreaking new study.
An atmospheric region called the physical phenomenon air, which feeds into the lower clouds, was found to be unchanged by human-related (anthropogenic) activities.
The discovery was made by a search group from Colorado State University’s Department of Atmospheric Science.
The scientists wanted to seek out out what was within the air and where it had been coming from by measuring its composition of bioaerosols, the natural or artificial particles that suspend within the air. Samples were taken aboard the research vessel Investigator which sailed from Tasmania to the Antarctic ice edge.
The scientists found that the air layer was free from particles that humans create from burning fossil fuels and travelling in planes and cars.
Climate change means scarcely any region of the earth is untouched by people, and therefore the team assumed that the air over the Southern Ocean (SO) that surrounds Antarctica would even be impacted.
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“We were ready to use the bacteria within the air over the Southern Ocean as a diagnostic tool to infer key properties of the lower atmosphere,” research scientist Thomas Hill, co-author on the study, said during a statement.
“For example, that the aerosols controlling the properties of SO clouds are strongly linked to ocean biological processes, which Antarctica appears to be isolated from southward dispersal of microorganisms and nutrient deposition from southern continents.
“Overall, it suggests that the Southern Ocean is one among only a few places on Earth that has been minimally suffering from anthropogenic activities.”
The study was published earlier within the week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.