World Environment Day 2019

With the focus of this year’s World Environment Day on air pollution, what do we know about the ability of the atmosphere to actually clean itself?

To find out, an international team of Antarctic scientists spent a hundred days at one of the snowiest places on earth to collect old air trapped in deep ice.

At Law Dome in East Antarctica, the team drilled ice cores to retrieve traces of the reactive hydroxyl molecule.

Hydroxyl acts a natural ‘air purifier’ by removing pollutants, such as greenhouse gases and ozone depleting chemicals.

Read more about the ‘Hydroxyl Hunters’ in the June issue of the Antarctic Magazine.

scientist inside trench with ice drill
Dr Vas Petrenko inside the drilling trench dug into the snow (Photo: David Etheridge)
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