Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
. 24/7 Space News .

Subscribe to our free daily newsletters

Eyeing Climate Change, Satellites Provide Missing Information
by Staff Writers
Jerusalem (SPX) Mar 13, 2016

Much of the climate effect of these particles, called Cloud Condensation Nuclei, comes from their impact on the behavior of clouds. Polluted clouds contain a relatively higher number of smaller droplets that make the cloud brighter. The smaller cloud droplets are slower to coalesce to raindrops, thus making the cloud live longer and reflect even more solar radiation heat back to space.

An international team of scientists led by Prof. Daniel Rosenfeld from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem found a way to measure missing critical information needed to quantify manmade responsibility for climate change.

In a paper published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the authors describe a new way to determine both cloud-base updraft speeds and quantify the aerosol particles' ability to create cloud droplets. The new method used measurements from an existing meteorological satellite, operated since 2012, rather than conventional aircraft and ground stations.

"This new satellite methodology enables us to quantify climate effects on a global scope, provides a more accurate assessment of the processes affecting global warming, and reduces the uncertainty there is about climate change," said Prof. Rosenfeld, an expert on climate change from the Hebrew University's Institute of Earth Sciences.

Emissions of greenhouse gases have long been recognized as a cause for global warming, as they slow the release of heat that radiates from Earth to space. "This relatively well-known warming effect is partially countered to a poorly-known extent by manmade particulate emissions, such as smoke, dust and other kinds of air pollution particles", explains Prof. Rosenfeld.

Much of the climate effect of these particles, called Cloud Condensation Nuclei, comes from their impact on the behavior of clouds. Polluted clouds contain a relatively higher number of smaller droplets that make the cloud brighter. The smaller cloud droplets are slower to coalesce to raindrops, thus making the cloud live longer and reflect even more solar radiation heat back to space.

Important as these small particles are to clouds and climate, they are very difficult to measure by conventional remote sensing techniques. Therefore, scientists had to rely mostly on measurements from aircraft and ground stations, which made it difficult to get a global view on the particles' abundance and properties. Furthermore, the speed at which the air rises into the clouds is equally important in determining cloud droplet concentrations. Currently, measuring cloud base updraft is done by ground-based cloud radar or by aircraft.

"Such measurements are very sparse, whereas quantifying climate effects requires conducting such measurements at a global coverage, which is possible only with satellites," explains Prof. Rosenfeld.

With this technique, the researchers have opened up the possibility to provide global measurements of the two pieces of missing information that kept the uncertainty about climate change so high up to now.

Estimates of global warming expected by the end of the 21st century due to manmade emissions range between 1.5 to 4.5 degrees. This uncertainty is a major cause for the intense public debate on the responsibility of mankind for climate change and the actions needed to mitigate its impacts.

The international research team also includes Meinrat O. Andreae from the Max Planck Institute of Chemistry in Mainz, Germany, Zhanqing Li from the University of Maryland in the USA, Paulo Artaxo from the University of Sao Paulo, and Xing Yu from the Meteorological Institute of Shaanxi Province, Xi'an, China.

The researchers developed the satellite methodology and validated it against surface measurements at sites of the U.S. Department of Energy in Oklahoma; over the ocean on board a ship that cruised between Honolulu and Los Angeles; and over the Amazon in cooperation with the Brazilian National Institute for Amazon Research.

Researchers from Germany contributed measurements of Cloud Condensation Nuclei collected at the Amazon Tall Tower Observatory in the middle of the Amazon Basin.

"These ground-truth data are essential for the validation of the satellite measurements. We're hoping in the future to be able to send dedicated satellites that will collect even more accurately the data that is crucial to the understanding of effects on climate change. This will lead to more informed decisions with respect to the actions needed to counter global warming," says Prof. Rosenfeld.

Citation: Satellite retrieval of cloud condensation nuclei concentrations by using clouds as CCN chambers Daniel Rosenfelda,1, Youtong Zhengb,c,d, Eyal Hashimshonia , Mira L. Pohlkere,f, Anne Jeffersong , Christopher Pohlkere , Xing Yuh , Yannian Zhud,h, Guihua Liuh , Zhiguo Yueh , Baruch Fischmana , Zhanqing Lib,c,d, David Giguzina , Tom Gorena , Paulo Artaxoi , Henrique M. J. Barbosai , Ulrich Poschle,f, and Meinrat O. Andreae. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1514044113

Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once

credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly

paypal only


Related Links
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Earth Observation News - Suppiliers, Technology and Application

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Previous Report
First views of Earth from Sentinel-3A
Paris (ESA) Mar 08, 2016
Just two weeks after launch, the latest Sentinel satellite has offered a taster of what it will provide for the EU's Copernicus programme. Sentinel-3A's very first image, captured at 14:09 GMT on 29 February, shows the transition from day to night over Svalbard, Norway. As well as showing the snow-covered archipelago, the image also details Arctic sea ice and some cloud features. ... read more

China to use data relay satellite to explore dark side of moon

NASA May Return to Moon, But Only After Cutting Off ISS

Lunar love: When science meets artistry

New Lunar Exhibit Features NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Imagery

Mission to Mars brings Russia and Europe together

NASA targets May 2018 launch of Mars InSight mission

NASA Announces Winning Concepts to Further its Journey to Mars

Close comet flyby threw Mars' magnetic field into chaos

First tomatoes, peas harvested from mock Martian farm

Planetary Science Institute funded for expanded education public outreach effort

NASA tests inflatable heat shield technology for deep space missions

Russian company set to usher in era of suborbital tourism

China's ambition after space station

Sky is the limit for China's national strategy

China to Launch Over 100 Long March Rockets Within Five Years

Aim Higher: China Plans to Send Rover to Mars in 2020

Sticky, stony and sizzling science launching to space station

International Space Station's '1-year crew' returns to Earth

Scott Kelly and Mikhail Kornienko return to Earth after One-Year Mission

Paragon wins NASA ISS water processor development contract

Assembly of Russia's Soyuz Rocket With Earth-Sensing Satellite Completed

Ariane 5 launch contributes to Ariane 6 development

ISRO launches PSLV C32, India's sixth navigation satellite

SpaceX launches SES-9 satellite to GEO; but booster landing fails

NASA's K2 mission: Kepler second chance to shine

Sharpest view ever of dusty disc around aging star

Evidence found for unstable heavy element at solar system formation

Imaging Technique May Help Discover Earth-Like Planets Around Other Stars

Total invisibility cloak an impossibility, scientists say

New radar system set for testing

Aerojet Rocketdyne tests 3D printed injector in upper stage engine

Clothes of the future will adjust to the weather, body temperature

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement