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April 26, 2019

Atmospheric scientists find clues to climate change in the dust

Clouds tell us what type of weather to expect, and wield a great deal of influence over our climate. They can enhance warming by trapping heat or cool the planet by reflecting sunlight back into space. Atmospheric scientists are studying another influencer with outsized effect: dust.

Dust can transform clouds, thereby altering the climate. With global temperatures rising and glaciers receding, the Arctic has been getting a lot dustier lately.

“As the Arctic climate changes, and the land/ocean surface properties change, impacts of particle emissions on cloud properties need to be considered as part of the story,” explained Paul DeMott, one of the Colorado State University atmospheric scientists who recently participated in an international study of glacially sourced dust and its impact on cloud formation. Their findings were published in Nature Geoscience on March 25.

Read the full Source article, “Atmospheric scientists find clues to climate change in the dust.”

Photo at top: Jun Uetake, left, and Yutaka Tobo install sampling lines for data collection at a research station in Svalbard, Norway.