Tiny particles lead to brighter clouds in the tropics: Global airborne mission finds a belt of particle formation is brightening clouds

ScienceDaily | Oct 17, 2019 at 12:10 PM
  • The researchers found that gases transported to high altitudes by deep, convective clouds in the tropics formed large numbers of very small aerosol particles, a process called gas-to-particle conversion.
  • The team observed this particle formation in the tropics over both the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, and their models suggest a global-scale band of new particle formation covering about 40 percent of the Earth’s surface.
  • In places with cleaner air where fewer particles exist from other sources, the effect of aerosol particle formation on clouds is larger.