GFDL - Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory

Aerosol-Cloud-Climate Interactions

Aerosol particles from burning of fossil fuels and biomass, dust storms and sea sprays affect the Earth’s climate in two ways. Besides scattering and/or absorbing incoming solar radiation in clear-sky conditions (direct effects), they are crucial for determining cloud microphysical/radiative properties through providing nucleating sites for cloud droplet/crystal formation (indirect effects). To understand the complex interplay among aerosols, clouds and climate, it is important to improve the representation of aerosol and cloud microphysics in General Circulation Models (GCM).