Volume 91 Issue 6 | p. 31 | Concentrates
Issue Date: February 11, 2013

Airborne Aldehydes Promote Cloudy Skies

Small organic molecules stimulate water condensation on aerosol particles
Department: Science & Technology | Collection: Climate Change
News Channels: Environmental SCENE
Keywords: aerosol, cloud condensation nuclei, acetaldehyde, atmosphere, climate

Clouds play an important role in Earth’s climate by reflecting sunlight. But the intricate details of how clouds form remain uncertain. A new study reveals that when acetaldehyde molecules (CH3CHO) in the atmosphere absorb onto inorganic aerosol particles, the aerosols more readily take on water to form cloud droplets. Incorporating this knowledge into climate models would help make them more accurate, according to Columbia University’s V. Faye McNeill and Georgia Tech’s . . .

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