Research and Application News
Satellite data reveal effects of aerosols in Earth's atmosphere
24 March 2017
Earth's atmosphere is dusted with tiny particles known as aerosols, which include windblown ash, sea salt, pollution, and other natural and human-produced materials. Aerosols can absorb or scatter sunlight, affecting how much light reflects back into space or stays trapped in the atmosphere.
Despite aerosols' known impact on Earth's temperature, major uncertainties plague current estimates of their overall effects, which in turn limit the certainty of climate change models. In an effort to reduce this uncertainty, Lacagnina et al. have combined new satellite data, providing, for the first time, data on aerosols' ability to absorb or reflect light globally, through model simulations
Source: Earth & Space Science News
Image credit: NASA Visible Earth - A dust plume from the Sahara Desert streams out over the north-east Atlantic Ocean. Researchers are using satellite imagery to better predict how tiny aerosol particles like these might influence the global climate.