February 28, 2007
GCRIO Program Overview
Our extensive collection of documents.
Archives of the
Global Climate Change Digest
A Guide to Information on Greenhouse Gases and Ozone Depletion
Published July 1988 through June 1999
AEROSOLS (JUNE 1999 )
Airborne Minerals and Related Aerosol Particles: Effects on
Climate and the Environment, P. R. Buseck and M. Pósfai, Proc.
Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 96, 3372-3379 (March 1999).
A study of individual airborne particles indicates that sulfate
particles are the main cooling agents among aerosols and are often
aggregated with soot (which diminishes the cooling effect of the aerosol),
having been deposited on the soot particle in the course of chemical
reactions. Over the oceans, sea salt is the most common aerosol species;
it also provides large surface areas for heterogeneous chemical reactions.
A highly heterogeneous mixture of mineral dusts makes up the majority of
atmospheric aerosols, but the interaction of these minerals with radiation
and their reactivities are largely unknown.
Long-Range Transport of Mineral Dust in the Global Atmosphere:
Impact of African Dust on the Environment of the Southeastern United
States, J. M. Prospero, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 96,
3396-3403 (March 1999).
Terrestrial dust is transported over long distances by the winds for
periods of a week or more at a time. The median diameter of the dust
particles is <10 mm, and they show signs of weathering. These particles
have complex chemical and physical properties that cannot be determined
from examining their bulk properties. The dusts becoming airborne is
highly nonlinear and sensitive to climate change. Once airborne, the dust
plays a significant role in climate forcing. The health effects of this
airborne soil are unknown. Modeling dust sources may be the most daunting
task facing climate modelers.
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Index of Abbreviations