Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Airborne Acid May Help Soot Turn Into Cloud Seeds

Date:
March 28, 2009
Source:
American Geophysical Union
Summary:
Carbon soot aerosols from combustion of fossil fuels and forest fires directly influence the Earth-atmosphere heat balance by absorbing sunlight. Fresh soot particles repel water and hence have little effect on properties and lifetimes of clouds. As soot particles age, they are thought to undergo a weathering process that allows them to absorb water, potentially transforming particles into cloud condensation nuclei.

Carbon soot aerosols from combustion of fossil fuels and forest fires directly influence the Earth-atmosphere heat balance by absorbing sunlight. Fresh soot particles repel water and hence have little effect on properties and lifetimes of clouds.

Related Articles


As soot particles age, they are thought to undergo a weathering process that allows them to absorb water, potentially transforming particles into cloud condensation nuclei.

To learn more about how soot develops an affinity for water, Khalizov et al. examine the properties of soot aerosols exposed to gaseous sulfuric acid. They find that although fresh soot does not change below water saturation, soot particles exposed to sulfuric acid increase in mass when relative humidity rises because the acid-coated soot absorbs water.

An increase in particle mass is often accompanied by a decrease in size, suggesting that conventional measurement methods based on particle size may underestimate the impact of soot aging on clouds.

Because sulfuric acid, a pollutant and the driving agent in acid rain, is increasing in the atmosphere due to industrial activities, the authors expect that this mechanism of water absorption by acid-coated soot significantly influences cloud formation.

The findings are reported in the Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres.

The authors include: Alexei F. Khalizov, Renyi Zhang, Dan Zhang, and Huaxin Xue: Department of Atmospheric sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, U.S.A.; Joakim Pagels: Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.A.; also at Division of Ergonomics and Aerosol Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Lund University, Lund, Sweden; Peter H. McMurry: Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.A.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Geophysical Union. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Khalizov et al. Formation of highly hygroscopic soot aerosols upon internal mixing with sulfuric acid vapor. Journal of Geophysical Research, 2009; 114 (d5): D05208 DOI: 10.1029/2008JD010595

Cite This Page:

American Geophysical Union. "Airborne Acid May Help Soot Turn Into Cloud Seeds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 March 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090325155535.htm>.
American Geophysical Union. (2009, March 28). Airborne Acid May Help Soot Turn Into Cloud Seeds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 31, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090325155535.htm
American Geophysical Union. "Airborne Acid May Help Soot Turn Into Cloud Seeds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090325155535.htm (accessed January 31, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Earth & Climate News

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Rare Clouds Fill Grand Canyon

Raw: Rare Clouds Fill Grand Canyon

AP (Jan. 29, 2015) For the second time in two months, a rare weather phenomenon filled the Grand Canyon with thick clouds just below the rim on Wednesday. (Jan. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Senate Passes Bill for Keystone XL Pipeline

Senate Passes Bill for Keystone XL Pipeline

AP (Jan. 29, 2015) The Republican-controlled Senate has passed a bipartisan bill approving construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline. (Jan. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
"Cloud Inversion" In Grand Canyon

"Cloud Inversion" In Grand Canyon

Reuters - US Online Video (Jan. 29, 2015) Time lapse video captures a blanket of clouds amassing in the Grand Canyon -- the result of a rare meteorological process called "cloud inversion." Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Researchers Say We Should Cut Back On Biofuels

Why Researchers Say We Should Cut Back On Biofuels

Newsy (Jan. 29, 2015) Biofuels aren&apos;t the best alternative to fossil fuels, according to a new report. In fact, they&apos;re quite a bad one. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins