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Atmospheric Aging Impacts on Particles for Cirrus Cloud Seeding

Cirrus clouds cause a net heating of the Earth

At a glance


Cirrus cloud thinning is a potential framework to mitigate climate warming via short lived climate forcers. Cirrus clouds forming at high altitudes in the troposphere composed only of ice crystals, produce a net warming effect on the Earth's climate because they are optically thin and their ability to shield incoming solar radiation is outweighed by the trapping of outgoing longwave radiation (heat). Similarly, persistent condensation trails that form from aircraft exhaust also have a warming effect.

In this work we seek to investigate ice crystal formation pathways via laboratory experiments that could suppress natural cirrus formation thus curtailing some of the atmospheric warming caused by natural cirrus clouds. By synthesizing particles and selecting natural particles with properties that promote ice crystal (and hence cirrus clouds) formation more readily than natural cirrus, we will identify the potential applicability of cirrus cloud thinning.

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