PerspectiveAtmospheric Science

The Complex Interaction of Aerosols and Clouds

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Science  27 Feb 2004:
Vol. 303, Issue 5662, pp. 1309-1311
DOI: 10.1126/science.1094411

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Interactions between aerosols--airborne liquid or solid particles--and clouds are believed to be one of the strongest influences on climate. In his Perspective, Graf discusses results in two papers in this issue that bear on our understanding of aerosol-cloud interactions. Koren et al. describe how boundary layer clouds are suppressed by smoke aerosols in Amazonia. And Andreae et al. report on their research into "smoking clouds" in Amazonia that appear to emit their own trails of smoke. A better grasp of how aerosols interact with clouds should provide much-improved models of climate and weather.