Presentation on theme: "What’s Up There May be a Problem, or then again, Maybe Not Now for a Little Information on Aerosols Rosemary Millham, PhD NASA GSFC/SSAI."— Presentation transcript:
What’s Up There May be a Problem, or then again, Maybe Not Now for a Little Information on Aerosols Rosemary Millham, PhD NASA GSFC/SSAI
Aerosols All that particle stuff up there = aerosols – Sea salt – Dust (i.e. Bodélé in Chad, Africa) – Ash (from biomass burning, volcanoes, etc.) – Nox – SOx – CO2 – Other
The Good the Bad and the ??? All aerosols could be cloud condensation nuclei Water vapor condenses on aerosol particles Precursor to cloud formation?? – Depends on the aerosol: some are too small Sea salt constitutes the largest quantity of atmospheric aerosols Mineral dust emissions are small, usually
The Good the Bad and the ??? Continued Black Carbon (biomass burning, cooking with solid fuels and diesel exhaust) Nox (High temperature reactions of nitrogen and oxygen gases in the air during combustion) SOx (Formed when fuel containing sulfur is burned or when gasoline is extracted from oil or metals are extracted from ore Possible precursors to bad ozone (tropospheric)
How Bad? At ground level bad ozone (tropospheric) is created by a chemical reaction between oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the presence of heat and sunlight. Sulfur Dioxide dissolves in water vapor to form acid, and in turn, acid rain.
How Bad? Black carbons form through the incomplete combustion of fossil fuels, biofuel, and biomass, and is emitted both anthropogenically and naturally occurring soot (fires). Absorbs heat from the Sun and reduces Earth’s albedo.
And, We all Hear About CO2 Traps Sunlight energy in the atmosphere Natural processes used to balance CO2 (CO2 removed from the atmosphere by oceans and land plants, then emitted back into the atmosphere in natural processes)
Continued Industrial Revolution!!! Burning fuels emit CO2 and upsets the balance of CO2 in the atmosphere!!!
So, How Do We Know Change is Happening? Instruments aboard Earth orbiting satellites provide data – CO2 – Aerosols – Cloud cover – Temperature (ocean and land) – Precipitation – Interactions among land, sea, air, biology and anthropogenic activity – Ice……..and so much more