The OH* radical is normally forming bonds with particulates and making the particulates more soluble in water so that they will be removed by rain. The hydrogen side of the molecule can penetrate the surface tension of water. When more particulates are in the air, the OH* ligands are used up and a shortage will cause a big problem that may already be sneaking up on us. OH* also oxidizes greenhouse gases like methane but if it is all or partially used up by the process of attaching to particulate matter, then it cannot burn off methane and other gases and we see a build up.
Aerosols also reflect sunlight that is used by the O2 molecule to split into atomic O1d atoms, where OH* is formed after the O1D meets water.
Note these two reactions:
O2 + hv(sunlight) = 2 O1d
O1d + H2O = 2OH*
From one oxygen molecule we can get 4 OH*, which is a quadruple benefit for scrubbing the air and aging aerosols. With too many aerosols wasting OH*, we lose the needed scrubbing. This could lead to very accelerated warming because overall it takes 10 O2 net to remove methane in an average ten year process using significant OH*.
We are just going into a four year record average highest global temperature. As we look for the causes, we must look at how the oxidants are being suppressed or overused by aerosols and allow methane to persist longer. This will be critical as we find a way to battle the methane blowouts from arctic permafrost and the oceans which can triple the carbon content of the air with methane which is 30 times worse than CO2.
We may have to release atomic or ionized oxygen to help reverse these trends and increase oxidation of methane.