Report

Smoke and Pollution Aerosol Effect on Cloud Cover

Science  04 Aug 2006:
Vol. 313, Issue 5787, pp. 655-658
DOI: 10.1126/science.1126232

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Abstract

Pollution and smoke aerosols can increase or decrease the cloud cover. This duality in the effects of aerosols forms one of the largest uncertainties in climate research. Using solar measurements from Aerosol Robotic Network sites around the globe, we show an increase in cloud cover with an increase in the aerosol column concentration and an inverse dependence on the aerosol absorption of sunlight. The emerging rule appears to be independent of geographical location or aerosol type, thus increasing our confidence in the understanding of these aerosol effects on the clouds and climate. Preliminary estimates suggest an increase of 5% in cloud cover.

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