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- Measuring greenhouse gases - AAS can quantify concentrations of CO2, methane, and other gases that cause the greenhouse effect and climate change when they accumulate in the atmosphere. This data helps track emissions sources and trends over time.
- Analyzing contaminants - AAS can measure toxic heavy metals like mercury, lead, and arsenic that are released from fossil fuel emissions. This helps monitor pollution levels and risks.
- Environmental forensics - The technique can fingerprint contamination from industrial activities versus natural sources. This informs regulatory actions and remediation.
- Climate change research - AAS aids diverse studies on ocean acidification, coral bleaching, wildlife contaminants, melting permafrost, etc. The findings build scientific understanding.
- Policy development - The data AAS provides on emission sources, pollution levels, bioaccumulation and environmental impacts informs the creation of climate change policies.
- Technology improvements - AAS analysis helps develop and evaluate carbon capture systems, renewable energy technologies, battery storage, grid improvements, etc.
- Activism - Findings from AAS studies raise public awareness and galvanize action on climate change. The urgency becomes evidence-based.
So in summary, the sensitive quantification and detection of gases and contaminants by AAS plays an essential role in climate research, policymaking, technology development, and public engagement on addressing global warming. It provides vital insights.