Biomass burning increases low clouds over southeastern Asia

Clouds have significant impact on the energy balance of the Earth system. Low clouds such as Stratocumulus, Cumulus and Stratus cover about 30 percent of the Earth surface and have a net cooling effect on our climate. What ...

COVID-19 lockdowns lessened global lightning activity

Global lightning activity dropped almost 8% during the 2020 COVID-19 lockdowns, according to new research being presented at the AGU Fall Meeting 2021 in New Orleans. The cause of the drop appears to be a connection between ...

Ozone causes skin to emit tiny airborne particles

Air pollution is responsible for 7 million premature deaths around the world every year, according to the World Health Organization. That's roughly the same number of people who die from smoking or malnutrition. The damaging ...

Simulation reveals molecular footprint of organic air pollutants

Joining the global effort to curb air pollution, researchers at Texas A&M University have developed computational tools to accurately assess the footprint of certain organic atmospheric pollutants. Their simulation, described ...

Catching the fog as it rolls in for more fresh water

In the Namib desert—one of the driest places in the world—a tiny species of beetle climbs the dunes, leans its body toward the wind, and catches the only source of water it can: passing droplets of fog.

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Technically, an aerosol is a suspension of fine solid particles or liquid droplets in a gas. Examples are clouds, and air pollution such as smog and smoke. In general conversation, aerosol usually refers to an aerosol spray can or the output of such a can. The word aerosol derives from the fact that matter "floating" in air is a suspension (a mixture in which solid or liquid or combined solid–liquid particles are suspended in a fluid). To differentiate suspensions from true solutions, the term sol evolved—originally meant to cover dispersions of tiny (sub-microscopic) particles in a liquid. With studies of dispersions in air, the term aerosol evolved and now embraces both liquid droplets, solid particles, and combinations of these. The Earth atmosphere contains aerosols of various types and concentrations, including quantities of:

By far the most common aerosols in the atmosphere are clouds, which normally consist of suspensions of water droplets or ice particles of greater or lesser density.

Aerosols can be found in urban Ecosystems in various forms, for example:

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