As human activity and emissions continue to change the types of particles in the air, there is consequently a change in the particles that act as cloud precursors in our atmosphere. Some of these precursors generally create liquid clouds, or cloud droplets, and others create ice crystals, or frozen clouds. So why do these changes matter?
Liquid clouds play an important role in offsetting a lot of the warming affects caused by greenhouse gases, whereas frozen clouds actually warm the planet. In other words, the way our activities change the air subsequently changes the clouds, which in turn affects global climate. In this episode, Ryan Sullivan, Ph.D., joins us to discuss the relationship of cloud chemistry and climate change. Click play to hear more.
Sullivan is an atmospheric chemist, associate professor in chemistry and in mechanical engineering, and associate director of the Institute for Green Science at Carnegie Mellon University. Keep an eye out in a month or two for his website to launch. In the meantime, you can learn more about him at https://www.meche.engineering.cmu.edu/directory/bios/sullivan-ryan.html or https://www.cmu.edu/chemistry/people/faculty/sullivan.html