by Graham Pierrepoint
Global warming continues to be a contentious issue, with many claiming that the climate change movement has little in the way of grounding – however, the evidence for the planet heating up is inarguably there – polar ice is continuing to melt ▶ and, regardless of there being good news in the form of damage to the ozone layer healing over the past few years ▶, it remains to be said that there is still opposition to whether or not we should be so concerned with what we are doing to our planet. Many would argue that we need to take responsibility for our actions – and much is being done to try and discover new ways to fight further damage from potentially plunging future generations into a world of environmental chaos.
Watch: See How the Earth Has Changed Over the Past 20 Years in This NASA Timelapse ▶
The fight against global warming largely requires one thing – persistence and funding – and with US President Trump having largely positioned himself against movements to fight climate change in recent months - and reportedly even planning to disband the Federal Climate Change Panel ▶, those in favor of finding ways to combat environmental disaster are working harder than ever. Bizarrely enough, an everyday item you could well be using with dinner tonight appears to hold some sort of key to one potential solution for global warming – as research into cooking oil appears to assert that molecules in fatty acid combined with aerosols could help to build 3D clouds that could cling in our atmosphere.
Researchers such as Dr Christian Pfrang of the UK’s University of Reading intentionally looked into the molecules found in droplets from aerosol in line with the fatty acid principle outlined above. Dr Adam Squires, of the University of Bath, UK, co-authored the study and is excited about what the new discovery could mean for helping to cool down our planet. “We know that the complex structures we saw are formed by similar fatty acid molecules like soap in water,” the scientist explains. “There, they dramatically affect whether the mixture is cloudy or transparent, solid or liquid, and how much it absorbs moisture from the atmosphere in a lab. The idea that this may also be happening in the air above our heads is exciting, and raises challenges in understanding what these cooking fats are really doing to the world around us.”
The incredible study, available in the Nature Communications journal, highlights just one way we could help to save our planet for generations to come.