Tuesday, January 31, 2023

The Archive of Air

Considering the way we've been treating our planet, testing air quality is crucial. At Kennaook/Cape Grim in Tasmania, the cleanest air in the world blows in from the Southern Ocean. The Cape Grim Baseline Air Pollution Station is constantly testing this air, but they also keep samples in the Cape Grim Air Archive. Every few months a new sample is taken for the archive. Sure, we have air testing results for the last 50 years, but what if, sometime in the future, we need to test for something we never tested before? This historic air will be available for new tests. Tom Scott gives us a look at the archives and explains how these samples are taken, stored, and used.


xoxoxoBruce said...

Seems to me the air in the SCUBA tanks would be questionable because of the equipment, like oily compressors, use to fill them.

WilliamRocket said...

Some years ago I stood on the top of a large hill at the very tip of the North Island of New Zealand, right down at the most easterly and southerly part.

The air blowing into my face there was intoxicating, fresher than any air I had ever breathed.

That was because it came from the clean shores of Antarctica, filtered across pristine cold seas, blown for thousands of kilometres, its purity becoming absolute as it was watched by sea creatures unknown.

After I had enjoyed that heady breath of Gaia herself, it travelled on, eventually reaching Cape Grim in Tasmania.