Another cause of ‘pause’?! New Study: ‘Smell of forest pine can limit climate change’ – ‘Pine forest smell could be the smell that actually limits climate change from reaching such levels that it could become really a problem in the world’
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Smell of Pine May Save us From Climate Doom!? Study published in the journal Nature: 'New research suggests a strong link between the powerful smell of pine trees and climate change. Scientists say they've found a mechanism by which these scented vapours turn into aerosols above boreal forests. These particles promote cooling by reflecting sunlight back into space and helping clouds to form'
Cooling effect: The authors believe that this is playing a significant role in reducing the impact of rising temperatures. They argue that this effect is likely to strengthen in the future. 'In a warmer world, photosynthesis will become faster with rising CO2, which will lead to more vegetation and more emissions of these vapours,' said lead author, Dr Mikael Ehn, now based at the University of Helsinki. 'This should produce more cloud droplets and this should then have a cooling impact, it should be a damping effect.' Dr Ehn believes the vapours could have a significant impact in the medium term. '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.'
More BBC article excerpts: These aerosols have confounded climate models as scientists haven’t been able to accurately predict how many of the particles form. Now an international team of researchers say they have solved the chemical mystery by which the rich odours become reflective, cooling particles. They’ve long understood that the smell of pine, made up of volatile organic compounds, reacts with oxygen in the forest canopy to form these aerosols.