. 24/7 Space News .

Subscribe to our free daily newsletters

Cloud study demystifies impact of aerosols
by Staff Writers
Exeter UK (SPX) Aug 04, 2022

illustration only

Aerosol particles in the atmosphere have a bigger impact on cloud cover - but less effect on cloud brightness - than previously thought, new research shows.

Aerosols are tiny particles suspended in the atmosphere, and they play a key role in the formation of clouds.

With aerosols increasing due to human activities, numerous assessments by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) have suggested they could have an important impact on climate change because clouds reflect sunlight and therefore keep temperatures cooler.

However, this cooling impact of aerosols on clouds is difficult to measure, and this has led to significant uncertainty climate change projections.

The new study - led by the University of Exeter, with national and international academic partners and the UK's Met Office - used the 2014 Icelandic volcano eruption to investigate this.

"This massive aerosol plume in an otherwise near-pristine environment provided an ideal natural experiment to quantify cloud responses to aerosol changes, namely the aerosol's fingerprint on clouds" said lead author Dr Ying Chen.

"Our analysis shows that aerosols from the eruption increased cloud cover by approximately 10%.

"Based on these findings, we can see that more than 60% of the climate cooling effect of cloud-aerosol interactions is caused by increased cloud cover.

"Volcanic aerosols also brightened clouds by reducing water droplet size, but this had a significantly smaller impact than cloud-cover changes in reflecting solar radiation."

Previous models and observations suggested this brightening accounted for the majority of the cooling caused by cloud-aerosol interactions.

Water droplets usually form in the atmosphere around aerosol particles, so a higher concentration of these particles makes it easier for cloud droplets to form.

However, as these cloud droplets are smaller and more numerous, the resulting clouds can hold more water before rainfall occurs - so, more aerosols in the atmosphere can lead to more cloud cover but less rain.

The study used satellite data and computer learning to study cloud cover and brightness.

It used 20 years of satellite cloud images from two different satellite platforms from the region to compare the periods before and after the volcano eruption.

The findings will provide observational evidence of aerosols' climate impacts to improve the models used by scientists to predict climate change.

Jim Haywood, Professor of Atmospheric Science at the University of Exeter and part of the Global Systems Institute, and a Met Office Research Fellow, said: "Our earlier work had showed that model simulations could be used to disentangle the relative contribution of aerosol-cloud-climate impacts and potentially confounding meteorological variability.

"This work is radically different as it does not rely on models; it uses state-of-the-art machine learning techniques applied to satellite observations to simulate what the cloud would look like in the absence of the aerosols.

"Clear differences are observed between the predicted and observed cloud properties which can be used to assess aerosol-cloud-climate impacts."

The study was funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) through the ADVANCE project, and the EU's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the CONSTRAIN grant.

The paper, published in the journal Nature Geoscience, is entitled: "Machine-learning reveals climate forcing from aerosols is dominated by increased cloud cover."

Research Report:Machine-learning reveals climate forcing from aerosols is dominated by increased cloud cover."

Related Links
University of Exeter
Earth Observation News - Suppiliers, Technology and Application

Thanks for being there;
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 Monthly Supporter
$5+ Billed Monthly

paypal only
SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once

credit card or paypal

How different parts of mixed convective-stratiform clouds respond to cloud seeding
Beijing, China (SPX) Jul 26, 2022
Cloud seeding is a method of placing condensation nuclei into clouds that induce rain or snowfall. Seeding is a complex process, and its effectiveness depends on the target cloud type. To better understand the mechanisms behind seeding, in a recent study, scientists showed how a connected mixture of both convective and stratiform clouds responds to cloud seeding. Using data from Ka-band cloud profiling radar (KPR) measurements onboard aircraft, along with the remote sensing observations from SNPP ... read more

Comment using your Disqus, Facebook, Google or Twitter login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

NewSpace may eliminate sun-synchronous orbits

Blue Origin to launch space tourist flight next week

When Russia leaves, what's next for the International Space Station?

Space Perspective unveils patented capsule design

SpaceX rocket fueled for launch this week to send Korean mission to moon

CAA launches consultation on UK space launch from Cornwall

NASA prepares for Space Launch System rocket services contract

Marine Management Organisation opens consultation on Virgin Orbit launch site

Ten Earth Years Later On Mars Sols 3553-3554

Images of EDL Debris

Rocky road ahead still not the good kind: Sols 3548-3550

Through the Pass We Go Sols 3551-3552

Reusable experimental spacecraft put into orbit

China launches six new satellites

China's Tianzhou-3 cargo craft re-enters atmosphere under control

Researchers: Chinese rocket stage to hit Earth in uncontrolled descent

Lockheed Martin doubles Venture Capital Fund To $400M

Sidus Space selects AWS for LizzieSat constellation

Have Canadians lost touch with space industry asks research report

Australians see space more as a danger than a benefit: Report

A better way to quantify radiation damage in materials

Magnetic quantum material helps probe next-gen information technologies

Engineers repurpose photography technique to make stretchy, color-changing films

Scientists have created optical fibers with unusual properties

New research on the emergence of the first complex cells challenges orthodoxy

Super-earth skimming habitable zone of red dwarf

How do collisions of rocks with planets help the planets evolve?

Lava caves of Hawaii Island contain thousands of unknown bacterial species

Why Jupiter doesn't have rings like Saturn

You can help scientists study the atmosphere on Jupiter

SwRI scientists identify a possible source for Charon's red cap

NASA's Europa Clipper Mission Completes Main Body of the Spacecraft

Reuters Events SMR and Advanced Reactor 2023

Reuters Events SMR and Advanced Reactor 2023

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2022 - 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. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Statement Our advertisers use various cookies and the like to deliver the best ad banner available at one time. All network advertising suppliers have GDPR policies (Legitimate Interest) that conform with EU regulations for data collection. By using our websites you consent to cookie based advertising. If you do not agree with this then you must stop using the websites from May 25, 2018. Privacy Statement. Additional information can be found here at About Us.