In a study led by the University of Leeds, scientists have solved one of the most long-standing challenges in atmospheric science: to understand how particles are formed in the atmosphere.
The lead scientist on the study, Professor Ken Carslaw, from the School of Earth and Environment at the University of Leeds, said: “This is a major milestone in our understanding of the atmosphere. The CERN experiment is unique, and it has produced data that seemed completely out of reach just five years ago.”
Clouds in the atmosphere consist of tiny droplets, which form when water condenses around small particles in the atmosphere called ‘aerosols’.
Understanding how aerosols are formed is therefore vital for understanding cloud formation — a process that has, until now, been an uncertain quantity in climate models, introducing problems for climate change projections.
For over 30 years, scientists have been able to build computer simulations of atmospheric gases based on measurements of chemical reaction rates made in a laboratory. This capability has been essential to our current understanding of the atmosphere, including the destruction of the ozone layer.
Until now, the same level of understanding has not been possible for aerosol particles in the atmosphere because of the enormous challenges involved in reliably measuring particle formation in a laboratory.
The CLOUD experiment can measure the ‘nucleation’ of new atmospheric particles – that is, when certain molecules in the atmosphere cluster together and grow to form new particles – in a specially designed chamber under extremely well controlled environmental conditions. Nucleation is important because, by current estimates, about half of all cloud droplets are formed on aerosol particles that were created in this way.
Professor Carslaw concludes: “These new results will give us much more confidence in how particles and clouds are handled in global climate models.”
The Latest on: Atmospheric particles
via Google News
The Latest on: Atmospheric particles
- Scientists say Covid is airborne. Now authorities think so, tooon May 17, 2021 at 5:15 pm
"We are used to the fact that we have clean water coming from our taps," said Lidia Morawska, a distinguished professor in the school of earth and atmospheric sciences ... enabling it to spread in ...
- A sun-skimming spacecraft captured video of a massive plasma eruption on the solar surface for the first timeon May 17, 2021 at 4:36 pm
The sun's outbursts can send plasma and electrically charged particles careening toward Earth. This solar probe is designed to study them.
- Inside the mission to spot an alien city by harnessing the Sun’s colossal gravityon May 17, 2021 at 4:12 pm
Astronomers generally view the Sun as an obstacle to the objects they want to study. But it might just be the key that enables them to observe Earth-like exoplanets located many light-years away.
- Chemical transport models often underestimate inorganic aerosol acidity in remote regions of the atmosphereon May 14, 2021 at 7:56 am
The acidity of inorganic aerosols in remote areas is often higher than predicted by chemical transport models, which may lead to an underestimation of direct radiative cooling, according to global air ...
- Stunning New Images Of Jupiter Reveal Atmosphere Details In Different Lighton May 13, 2021 at 9:27 am
Stunning new images captured by two different telescopes are showing our solar system's largest planet in a new light. The Gemini North telescope in Hawaii and the Hubble Space Telescope have captured ...
- Trace gases from ocean are source of particles accelerating Antarctic climate changeon May 13, 2021 at 8:00 am
Scientists exploring the drivers of Antarctic climate change have discovered a new and more efficient pathway for the creation of natural aerosols and clouds which contribute significantly to ...
- New Insight on Acid Formation can Help Refine Atmosphere and Climate Modelson May 13, 2021 at 7:04 am
In earlier atmospheric chemistry models of acid formation, formic acid had played an insignificant role. The chemical processes involved in its formation were not fully understood. Under the aegis of ...
- See Jupiter like never before: Incredible infrared images show the giant planet's churning atmosphere beyond what we can see with the human eyeon May 13, 2021 at 6:22 am
Hawaii's Gemini North observatory and the NASA Hubble space telescope captured the largest planet in the solar system in a range of light wavelengths.
- Mechanism deciphered: How organic acids are formed in the atmosphereon May 12, 2021 at 8:05 am
The acidity of the atmosphere is increasingly determined by carbon dioxide and organic acids such as formic acid. The second of these contribute to the formation of aerosol particles as a precursor of ...
via Bing News