Jacqueline Conciatore

How Sea Spray Seeds the SKY

Yahoo! News | December 1st, 2014 | Visit the original article online

What impact does sea spray have on global climate? It's a question scientists have studied for decades. They know that sea spray aerosols can float into the atmosphere and "seed" clouds — many of which seem to help cool the Earth by reflecting light, though there are others that seem to contribute to warming. But which aerosol particles do what actions, and under what conditions? How do aerosols affect precipitation and rainfall distribution? Could better understanding sea spray actually help humanity offset climate warming?

"The single largest uncertainty in climate change is how aerosols affect clouds and climate," said atmospheric scientist Kimberly Prather of the University of California, San Diego.

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