Earth’s Atmosphere Has Millions of Tons of a New Chemical

Earth’s Atmosphere Has Millions of Tons of a New Chemical

If you have never heard about hydrotrioxides, don’t worry. The term is not used every day in the English language, that’s for sure. Hydrotrioxides (ROOOHs) refer to a chemical with strong oxidizing properties made up of three oxygen atoms and one hydrogen atom that exists in the Earth’s atmosphere. According to, scientists have discovered that millions of tons of the chemical could exist in the atmosphere for a few hours.

The impact that hydrotrioxides might have on the climate and our health is concerning. While interacting with other compounds, hydrotrioxides can be very flammable. 

More research is needed for clarification

There’s no use starting to panic and making plans to move to another planet just yet. Furthermore, space agencies still haven’t figured out yet how they’ll colonize other planets. 

Jokes aside, for now! Here’s what Dr. Torsten Berndt from TROPOS had to say, as quotes:

It is very surprising that these interesting molecules are so stable with such a high oxygen content. Further research is needed to determine the role of hydrotrioxides for health and the environment.

We’ll likely need to wait a few more years to understand the true significance of the detection of hydrotrioxides. 

Professor Paul O. Wennberg from Caltech said the following, as the same source quotes:

Our study has shown that direct observation of hydrotrioxides using mass spectrometry is feasible. This means that it is now possible to further investigate these compounds in different systems including, perhaps, the quantification of their abundance in the environment.

The new study was published in Science


Cristian Antonescu

Even since he was a child, Cristian was staring curiously at the stars, wondering about the Universe and our place in it. Today he's seeing his dream come true by writing about the latest news in astronomy. Cristian is also glad to be covering health and other science topics, having significant experience in writing about such fields.

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