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Untangling aerosol effects

When it comes to describing how human activities are altering the Earth’s climate, aerosol emissions can tie your tongue in knots. Airborne pollution particles grouped under the “aerosol” heading come in a wide assortment – and some, as this NRCC article explains, tend to absorb sunlight and heat up the atmosphere, while others are more reflective and cooling. On top of that, it’s been thought to make a difference whether this potpourri of pollutants ends up drifting in clear skies or above clouds. Coming in now are the first experimental data that show just how important the effect of cloudiness is. 

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