Earth 

Aerosols Impact Cloud Formation

Aerosols are complex particles; they occur in nature and can also be generated by human activity. One important new area of aerosol research involves how aerosols impact clouds. Without aerosols, clouds could not exist. Aerosol particles serve as condensation nuclei for water vapor in the atmosphere. Atmospheric water molecules are drawn to aerosol particles like magnets, forming water droplets and eventually creating a cloud. The introduction of a larger number of aerosols will modify cloud's natural properties, leading to an accumulation of water droplets that are smaller in size but greater in number. Clouds play an important role in regulating Earth's climate; aerosol-rich air masses generate clouds that are bigger, brighter, and longer lasting.


For More Information

http://glory.gsfc.nasa.gov


Credits

Megan Willy (IRC/UMBC): Lead Animator
Maria Frostic (UMBC): Producer
Michael Mishchenko (NASA/GSFC GISS): Scientist
Please give credit for this item to:
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

Short URL to share this page:
http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/goto?10387

Mission:
Glory

Goddard TV Tape:
G2008-047 -- Glory Resource Reel

Keywords:
SVS >> Aerosols
DLESE >> Atmospheric science
SVS >> Clouds
SVS >> HDTV
SVS >> Ocean
SVS >> Soot
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Atmosphere >> Aerosols >> Cloud Condensation Nuclei
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Atmosphere >> Atmospheric Water Vapor >> Water Vapor
SVS >> Glory
NASA Science >> Earth

GCMD keywords can be found on the Internet with the following citation: Olsen, L.M., G. Major, K. Shein, J. Scialdone, S. Ritz, T. Stevens, M. Morahan, A. Aleman, R. Vogel, S. Leicester, H. Weir, M. Meaux, S. Grebas, C.Solomon, M. Holland, T. Northcutt, R. A. Restrepo, R. Bilodeau, 2013. NASA/Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Earth Science Keywords. Version 8.0.0.0.0