A multi-institution collaboration of scientists, including those from NOAA/ESRL/CSD and those partly funded by CPO's Atmospheric Chemistry, Carbon Cycle, and Climate program (AC4) has resulted in an interesting study comparing the origins of similar levels of formic acid (a potential precursor to aerosols) in very different environments.
"Investigation of secondary formation of formic acid: urban environment vs. oil and gas producing region," was published in the Journal of Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics in late February.
The paper's authors note the very different atmospheric composition in Los Angeles vs. Utah's Uintah Basin that results in very similar production of formic acid, which models typically underestimate by a factor of 10.
Analyzing the chemistry from recent NOAA-led field campaigns, the authors found several missing reactions that lead to the majority of formic acid production.
To learn more and access the paper, visit: http://www.atmos-chem-phys.net/15/1975/2015/acp-15-1975-2015.pdf