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Scientists Say They Have Found The Cleanest Air on Earth

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  • It’s an atmospheric region that has remain unchanged by human activity.
  • They measured the composition of bioaerosols, which is the the natural or artificial particles that suspend in the air.
  • They described the air as “truly pristine.”

Located over the Southern Ocean which surrounds Antarctica, scientists believe to have the world’s cleanest air in the area. It’s an atmospheric region that has remain unchanged by human activity, so it’s free from impure particles.

Researchers from Colorado State University’s Department of Atmospheric Science conducted a first-of-its-kind study of the bioaerosol composition of the Southern Ocean.

The air in the Southern Ocean is unchanged by human activity.

They wanted to find out the contents of the air and where it was coming from. They measured the composition of bioaerosols, which is the the natural or artificial particles that suspend in the air.

The researchers took samples aboard their vessel named Investigator, which journeyed from Tasmania, Australia to the ice edge of the Antarctic.

They discovered that the air layer was free from particles that come from human-related (anthropogenic) activities, which include travelling in cars and planes, wastewater disposal, fertilizer production, and burning fossil fuel.

The air samples came from the marine boundary level. They studied the composition of airborne microbes found in the atmosphere. They found out that the microbes’ origins were from the ocean. In order to do this, they used DNA sequencing.

The team was able to use the bacteria in the air over the Southern Ocean “as a diagnostic tool to infer key properties of the lower atmosphere,” said Thomas Hill, co-author on the study.

“For example, that the aerosols controlling the properties of SO clouds are strongly linked to ocean biological processes, and that Antarctica appears to be isolated from southward dispersal of microorganisms and nutrient deposition from southern continents,” he added.

Hill explained that overall, their findings suggest that the Southern Ocean is one of the last places on Earth that has been minimally impacted by anthropogenic activities. They described the air as “truly pristine.”

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Air pollution is already a global public health crisis, killing 7 million people a year.

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