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“For decades scientists have tried to understand why forests emit the volatile gases that give pine forests their distinctive smell. A new study led by the University of Leeds may have found the answer.

Particles in the atmosphere scatter sunlight, causing light at the Earth’s surface to come from many different directions rather than direct from the sun. This diffuse light benefits forests by illuminating leaves that would be shaded under .

The study, published in Nature Geoscience, found that volatile gases emitted by forests form particles in the atmosphere and increase the amount of diffuse light reaching the forests. Using computer simulations the team were able to show that this increased diffuse sunlight enhanced the carbon absorbed by the world’s forests by an amount equal to 10% of global  and industry emissions…”

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