A Better Understanding of How Cirrus Clouds Form


New research from a team led by scientists at Purdue University has found that trees and plants play an important role in the formation of cirrus clouds, a finding that has implications for agriculture, urban development, and climate change modeling.

New research provides insights into how cirrus clouds form, with implications for agriculture, urban development and climate-change predictions. The study shows that trees and plants play an important role that affects precipitation and global climate change.

An international team combined theory, field measurements and lab experiments to develop a better understanding of the formation of clouds. Daniel Cziczo, (pronounced SIT-so) professor and head of Purdue University's Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences, said that, surprisingly, scientists didn't previously have a full understanding of how cirrus clouds form.

"These clouds have an effect on climate and precipitation — things we humans care deeply about," he said. "This paper tells us how particles in the atmosphere, whether from natural or human-made sources, can impact clouds in a way that we previously didn't understand."

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