Navigation Links
Organic vapors affect clouds leading to previously unidentified climate cooling
Date:5/5/2013

University of Manchester scientists, writing in the journal Nature Geoscience, have shown that natural emissions and manmade pollutants can both have an unexpected cooling effect on the world's climate by making clouds brighter.

Clouds are made of water droplets, condensed on to tiny particles suspended in the air. When the air is humid enough, the particles swell into cloud droplets. It has been known for some decades that the number of these particles and their size control how bright the clouds appear from the top, controlling the efficiency with which clouds scatter sunlight back into space. A major challenge for climate science is to understand and quantify these effects which have a major impact in polluted regions.

The tiny seed particles can either be natural (for example, sea spray or dust) or manmade pollutants (from vehicle exhausts or industrial activity). These particles often contain a large amount of organic material and these compounds are quite volatile, so in warm conditions exist as a vapour (in much the same way as a perfume is liquid but gives off an aroma when it evaporates on warm skin).

The researchers found that the effect acts in reverse in the atmosphere as volatile organic compounds from pollution or from the biosphere evaporate and give off characteristic aromas, such as the pine smells from forest, but under moist cooler conditions where clouds form, the molecules prefer to be liquid and make larger particles that are more effective seeds for cloud droplets.

"We discovered that organic compounds such as those formed from forest emissions or from vehicle exhaust, affect the number of droplets in a cloud and hence its brightness, so affecting climate," said study author Professor Gordon McFiggans, from the University of Manchester's School of Earth, Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences.

"We developed a model and made predictions of a substantially enhanced number of cloud droplets from an atmospherically reasonable amount of organic gases.

"More cloud droplets lead to brighter cloud when viewed from above, reflecting more incoming sunlight. We did some calculations of the effects on climate and found that the cooling effect on global climate of the increase in cloud seed effectiveness is at least as great as the previously found entire uncertainty in the effect of pollution on clouds."


'/>"/>

Contact: Aeron Haworth
aeron.haworth@manchester.ac.uk
44-771-788-1563
University of Manchester
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Organic study of live pancreatic tissue yields new opportunities for diabetes research
2. New protocol recommendations for measuring soil organic carbon sequestration
3. Organic rice research moves to front burner in Texas
4. Organic tomatoes accumulate more vitamin C, sugars than conventionally grown fruit
5. High performance semiconductor spray paint could be a game changer for organic electronics
6. Lab-on-a-chip detects trace levels of toxic vapors in homes near Utah Air Force Base
7. Dung beetle diversity affects Florida livestock producers
8. BPA could affect reproductive capabilities, cause infection of the uterus
9. Life expectancy may affect when you get married, divorced, have kids: Queens University study
10. Loss of predators in Northern Hemisphere affecting ecosystem health
11. Genetically modified corn affects its symbiotic relationship with non-target soil organisms
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:9/17/2019)... ... September 17, 2019 , ... Last week, ... and engineers from the Medical University of Warsaw, met at the Presidential Palace ... in creating a neuroprosthetic system as part of an initiative called "Startups in ...
(Date:9/14/2019)... ... September 12, 2019 , ... ... for drugs, biologics, gene therapies, and consumer health products, today announced that professor ... business. Dr. Schaffer has played an integral advisory role on the gene therapy ...
(Date:9/11/2019)... ... September 09, 2019 , ... Greenberg Traurig, LLP ... J. Dykeman will speak at DeviceTalks Minnesota, Sept. 9-10, at the Hyatt Regency, ... global Life Sciences & Medical Technology Group have been featured speakers at ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:9/17/2019)... ... September 17, 2019 , ... Jennifer Hermansky and ... , have been named to Law360’s 2019 Rising Stars. Hermansky and Xie, named an ... attorneys from 1,300 submissions, spanning 39 practice areas. The list highlights attorneys “whose legal ...
(Date:9/17/2019)... ... 16, 2019 , ... MyBioGate Global Healthcare Innovation Competition Boston ... Boston, a forum organized by MyBioGate, Inc. and CUBIO Innovation Center that promotes ... process of evaluation, twelve companies out of over 200 applications were selected to ...
(Date:9/11/2019)... ... September 10, 2019 , ... ... educate about the latest developments in genome sequencing analysis. Check your local listings ... taking place at Rivermap Research & Consulting and will explore its revolutionary pathogenic ...
(Date:9/8/2019)... ... September 04, 2019 , ... The Blavatnik ... today the three Winners and six Finalists of the 2019 Blavatnik Regional ... across New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut since 2007, the Blavatnik Regional Awards ...
Breaking Biology Technology: