New, extremely reactive chemical discovered in the atmosphere

Researchers discovered a highly reactive chemical that they had long thought was too unstable to last under atmospheric conditions. (Image credit: Roberto Machado Noa/Getty Images))

Millions of tons of a class of extremely reactive chemicals called hydrotrioxides can linger in the atmosphere for several hours, a new study suggests — which could have implications for human health and the global climate.

The chemicals interact with other compounds extremely quickly, and their presence means that chemists will have to rethink just how processes in Earth’s atmosphere occur.

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