Atmospheric iodine levels are increasing
Atmospheric iodine levels are increasing rapidly due to the increase in ozone concentrations related to human activities and Arctic sea-ice retreat. It was revealed by a study carried out by an international team of researchers including Andrea Spolaor, from Institute for the Dynamics of Environmental Processes - IDPA-CNR, and Carlo Barbante, head of the CNR Institute and professor at Ca’ Foscari University of Venice.
The study, published by Nature Communications, took into consideration the changes in atmospheric iodine levels since 1760, analyzing an ice core retrieved in the Renland peninsula, eastern Greenland.
The analysis revealed that concentrations remained stable until the mid-20th century but have tripled over the last fifty years. The increase observed could have effects on ultrafine aerosol particles and on temperature.
“Thanks to atmospheric models including atmospheric and chemical processes, we understood that the increase in ozone concentrations in the so-called ‘Great Acceleration’ (the increasing human impact on the environment after the Second World War) and the recent abrupt sea-ice decrease are the main causes of iodine concentration increase in the North Atlantic. The increase in atmospheric concentrations of this element have many implications since it promotes ultrafine aerosol formation and is involved in the ozone cycle with a direct impact on the Earth’s energy budget”, Spolaor and Barbante explained.