New connections between soil and atmosphere

Kulmala M and Petäjä T
Soil nitrites influence atmospheric chemistry, Science, 333, 1586-1587 (2011), doi:10.1126/science.1211872.
Public discussion of climate change typically revolves around greenhouse gases, aerosol particles, and the role of human actions, but it is just beginning to reflect an awareness of the important role played by the global nitrogen cycle. Emission of HONO from the soil is a good example of how soil processes are linked with atmospheric chemistry (Fig. 6): it is also an example of how trace amounts of reactive nitrogen link the nitrogen and sulfur cycles with the water and carbon cycles. We need to document all the ecosystem-atmosphere cycles including the soil, atmospheric oxidation, and aerosol particles and their links and feedback loops to fully understand how the biosphere affects the atmosphere and the global climate. In order to do this, we need both extensive global modelling and continuous, comprehensive field measurements.

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