How aerosol formation helps brighten clouds, balance climate
- Posted By
Science & Technology
8th Dec, 2020
- Small aerosol particles help in brightening clouds, enabling them to alter Earth’s radiative balance and ultimately its climate.
How do they work?
- When deep, convective clouds in the tropics carry gases high into the atmosphere, they form small aerosol particles in a process called a gas-to-particle conversion.
- As they condense, they grow big enough to brighten lower-level clouds in the lower troposphere.
- This formation of new particles covers about 40 percent of the Earth’s surface.
How this understanding is useful?
- How these particles form and contribute to cloud properties in the tropics will help us better represent clouds in climate models and improve those models.
- The findings showed that in remote places with cleaner air, the effect of aerosol particle formation on clouds was found to be much larger.