The chemical composition of the earth's atmosphere is changing rapidly due largely to human activities such as combustion of fossil fuel, clearing of forests, and agriculture. Concentrations of many important trace gases (CO2, CH4, N2O) and aerosols are increasing, and stratospheric ozone levels are decreasing, with potentially deleterious effects including climatic warming, regional and urban air pollution, and increased exposure to solar ultraviolet light. Quantitative information defining the sources and sinks of important atmospheric gases is needed to foster a deeper understanding of chemical transformation rates and chemical transport dynamics in the atmosphere. This understanding can then be used to help make better decisions regarding the world's resources. We seek to understand how the atmosphere works as a chemical and physical system.
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