Ozone Depletion due to Iodine Dust

Jay Kakade
Atacama Desert showing blowing of Dust. (Photo Credit: Sam Hall)

Iodine is a chemical element with Symbol I and Atomic number of 53. It is crucial micronutrients for Human Health. Iodine is in abundance in marine ecosystem, lower troposphere, upper troposphere, and stratosphere.
Though crucial for human health but takes part in photochemical process depleting Ozone Layer (O3) and plays a major role in modifying oxidative capacity of Earth's atmosphere.

Winds while blowing spreads desert dust high in at atmosphere. Iodine in dust can destroy pollution. This leads greenhouse gases to stick around it for longer. Though O3 is frequently observed in dust layers but are minutely understood.

This study can be beneficial in putting efforts for studying, How materials from land can have severe impact on Atmosphere. Iodine is the same element that is used to add nutrients in table salt.

Volkamer- An Professor of Chemistry says, our Study of Iodine is incomplete. There are land based chemistries we do not know about. Iodine has adverse effects not only on air but also on Climate.
Though lab experiments have proven Iodine can deplete Ozone, But there are minimal traces of connection between dust and iodine.

Researchers were already very keen in studying about dusty layers of air. These dust from air can damage people's lungs as well as crops.

During the Aircraft Flights researchers have detected elevated layers of desert dust with the presence of Iodide radicals in it. Observations made using High Spectral Resolution Lidar (HSRL) states dust was elevated up-to 455 KM from shire and sustained for 13 days.

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