Scientific Colloquium
March 2, 2007

"Aerosols and Climate"

Aerosol particles are thought to play important roles in the energy balance of planet Earth, both directly by scattering, absorbing and emitting solar and terrestrial radiation, and indirectly by serving as the nuclei of cloud droplets and ice crystals. Although short-lived in the atmosphere, the particles are sufficiently active in both roles that anthropogenic aerosols provide a radiative forcing that is estimated to be comparable to that of the anthropogenic increase in greenhouse gases. In this presentation I shall provide an introductory overview of our state of understanding of the role of aerosols in governing and changing the climate of our planet.

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