Why does air smell nice after it rains?

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Shikera

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Why does air smell nice after it rains?
« on: 21/06/2009 19:30:02 »
Shikera asked the Naked Scientists:
   
Hello, Love the podcast, you guys seem to have such fun, keep up the good job!

So on my wonderful island of Jamaica the air is pretty good but two days ago after a really nice shower of rain in the afternoon, the air smelt wonderful, really fresh and clean. So my question is, is the air cleaner (with less pollutants)  after it rains, and if so why?

What do you think?

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Offline neilep

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Why does air smell nice after it rains?
« Reply #1 on: 21/06/2009 21:08:09 »
erhmm...didn;t someone here ask the very same question ? [;)]

http://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum/index.php?topic=5359.0
Men are the same as women, just inside out !

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paul.fr

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Why does air smell nice after it rains?
« Reply #2 on: 22/06/2009 11:30:57 »
Yes, the air is cleaner and contains less pollutants after it rains. This is because each rain drop is composed of around 1 million cloud droplets, each of these droplets has formed on a particle of salt, pollen or other airbourne pollutants.

On their way down, falling as rain, they collect even more particles. So, just one rain drop can remove more than 1 million airbourne pollutant particles.

In Jamaica the rain may be good for the quality of the lower air, but it's in part to blame for the pollution of water sources due to it washing pollutants from surface mining in to them.