Atmospheric Chemistry (Peter)
Why are we interested in Atmospheric Chemistry?
The obvious answer is: because of its importance for air quality, which affects ecosystems and human health. But this is by far not the only answer. Air chemistry plays also an important role in the climate system.
Air chemistry affects atmospheric cycles, e.g. the carbon or the nitrogen cycles, or the life cycle of condensable species. Chemical and physical processes determine the radiative influence of important non-CO2 greenhouse gases and aerosols. On a per-molecule basis, many of these gases are radiatively much more potent greenhouse gases than CO2. Methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O) and ozone (O3) are prominent examples. On the other hand, condensable organic and inorganic species lead to secondary aerosol formation with significant cooling efficiencies.