The composition of particulate matter can influence its harmfulness to human health just as much as the amount, PSI researchers show in a newly published study. Experiments and computational modelling showed that in Europe high concentrations of particulate matter harmful to human health occur mainly in metropolitan areas.
An international team of scientists has identified a novel driver of new aerosol particle formation in the Arctic: iodic acid, a chemical compound, which had not previously been observed in the region.
Newly discovered rapid particle growth rates may be the answer to the mystery of aerosol formation in urban smog
Aerosols, suspended particles or droplets, play a key role in Earth’s atmosphere’s energy balance. They can also result in smog formation in cities, which leads to low visibility and serious health risks for the population. A recent study published in Nature outlines a newly discovered mechanism that may play a key role in the continued survival of particles in wintertime smog.
Researchers at the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI have developed a new method to analyse particulate matter more precisely than ever before. With its help, they disproved an established doctrine: that molecules in aerosols undergo no further chemical transformations because they are enclosed in other particulate matter.
A PSI research project investigating atmospheric chemistry will be on board the icebreaker Polarstern on 20th September 2019. Researcher Julia Schmale talks about the upcoming expedition and her role in it.
At the Jungfraujoch research station, PSI scientists study particulate matter in the atmosphere. And have to deal with the fact that the human body is not made for life at 3,500 metres above sea level.
PSI researchers drill through millennia-old glacier ice in the high mountains and analyse the world's highest particulate concentrations in Delhi, India. They are helping to address questions regarding climate change and to reduce air pollution.
In contrast to nitrogen oxides, modern gasoline cars emit much more cancerogenic primary soot (black carbon + primary organic aerosol) and lead to more toxic secondary organic aerosol than modern diesel vehicles.
Atmospheric scientist Julia Schmale is starting out on a three-month research cruise around the Antarctic. There she will be searching for the cleanest air still to be found on our planet.