From: Brookhaven National Laboratory
Published October 24, 2016 01:10 PM

Amazon Study Reveals that Rainstorms Transport Atmospheric Particles Essential for Cloud Formation

Understanding how tiny particles emitted by cars and factories affect Earth's climate requires accurate climate modeling and the ability to quantify the effects of these pollutant particles vs. particles naturally present in the atmosphere. One large uncertainty is what Earth was like before these industrial-era emissions began. In a paper just published in Nature, scientists collaborating on the GoAmazon study describe how they tracked particles in the largely pristine atmosphere over the Amazon rainforest, which has given them a way to effectively turn back the clock a few hundred years.  

The scientists, sponsored in part by the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Climate Research Facility and DOE's  Atmospheric System Research (ASR) Program, collected and analyzed data over the Amazon during 2014-15. By scanning the skies at different altitudes and measuring the changes in particle population over time, the scientists figured out the source of the tiny particles that trigger cloud formation under "pre-industrial" conditions.

Continue reading at Brookhaven National Laboratory

Photo via Luiz. A. T. Machado, National Institute for Space Research, São José dos Campos, São Paulo, Brazil

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