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Human Induced versus Naturally Occurring Aerosols

One critical new area of aerosol research involves how the varied particles impact clouds. Clouds play an important role in regulating Earth's climate, and without aerosols, clouds could not exist. The introduction of a larger number of aerosols will modify cloud's natural properties, leading to clouds that are bigger, brighter, and longer lasting. Two time lapsed scenes with zooms to particle-level conceptual animations help to illustrate this concept. In a pristine environment, like the ocean scene depicted here, naturally occurring salt particles serve as condensation nuclei for water vapor in the atmosphere. The water molecules are drawn to the salt particles like magnets, forming water droplets and eventually creating a cloud. The city scene reveals how an increase in the number of aerosols modifies the properties of a naturally formed cloud. The large influx of soot particles increases the number of centers of attraction for the water molecules, and the water droplets become smaller in size but greater in number.
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More information on this topic available at:
http://glory.gsfc.nasa.gov

This animation juxtaposes ocean clouds and city clouds. Both zoom to the particle-detail level to show the difference in aerosol particle number and back out to show that clouds over oceans are taller and darker than those over cities.    This animation juxtaposes ocean clouds and city clouds. Both zoom to the particle-detail level to show the difference in aerosol particle number and back out to show that clouds over oceans are taller and darker than those over cities.
Duration: 1.4 minutes
Available formats:
  1280x720   Frames (Splitscreen Timelapse)
  512x288     MPEG-1   22 MB
  1280x720   QT         271 MB
  960x720     MPEG-4   51 MB
  640x360     MPEG-4   15 MB
  320x180     MPEG-4   4 MB
  320x180     PNG           146 KB
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Black soot aerosols are emitted by cities and form clouds. The footage is a time lapse of clouds over Baltimore.    Black soot aerosols are emitted by cities and form clouds. The footage is a time lapse of clouds over Baltimore.
Duration: 1.4 minutes
Available formats:
  1280x720   Frames (City Timelapse)
  512x288     MPEG-1   21 MB
  1280x720   QT         263 MB
  960x720     MPEG-4   48 MB
  640x360     MPEG-4   15 MB
  320x180     MPEG-4   4 MB
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Salt particles act much like the black soot carbon aerosols in the previous animation to form clouds.    Salt particles act much like the black soot carbon aerosols in the previous animation to form clouds.
Duration: 1.4 minutes
Available formats:
  1280x720   Frames (Ocean Timelapse)
  512x288     MPEG-1   17 MB
  1280x720   QT         242 MB
  960x720     MPEG-4   51 MB
  640x360     MPEG-4   15 MB
  320x180     MPEG-4   5 MB
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Hi-res still of Baltimore, MD skyline.    Hi-res still of Baltimore, MD skyline.

Available formats:
  4500 x 3000     TIFF     38 MB


Hi-res still of Baltimore, MD skyline.    Hi-res still of Baltimore, MD skyline.

Available formats:
  4500 x 3300     TIFF     42 MB


Hi-res still of beach.    Hi-res still of beach.

Available formats:
  5335 x 3000     TIFF     45 MB

Short URL to This Page:http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/goto?10388
Animation Number:10388
Completed:2009-02-19
Animator:Megan Willy (IRC/UMBC) (Lead)
Producer:Maria Frostic (UMBC)
Scientist:Michael Mishchenko (NASA/GSFC GISS)
Videographer:Megan Willy (IRC/UMBC)
Goddard TV Tape:G2008-047 -- Glory Resource Reel
Please give credit for this item to:
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
 
Keywords:
SVS >> Aerosols
SVS >> Climate
SVS >> Clouds
SVS >> Global Warming
SVS >> HDTV
SVS >> Ocean
SVS >> Pollution
SVS >> Climate Change
SVS >> Glory
 
 


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Many of our multimedia items use the GCMD keywords. These 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

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