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Aerosol particles affect the earth's radiative balance by scattering or absorbing light (direct forcing) and by acting as cloud condensation nuclei (indirect forcing). The first system to be understood, in a step-wise understanding of global aerosol dynamics, is the remote marine aerosol system, whose fine particle fraction consists primarily of sulphite derived from biogenic DMS, and is chemically quite homogeneous. Gas-to-particle conversion in polluted areas is very much more complex because of the variety of precursors present. Aerosol dynamics here is a multi-phase process, in which gas and cloud phase chemistry, aerosol and cloud microphysics, and cloud and atmospheric dynamics are all closely linked. However, the first estimates of climate forcing by anthropogenic aerosols, based on 3-d atmospheric transport models, show that this forcing is essentially regional.

Additional information

Authors: RAES F, JRC Ispra (IT)
Bibliographic Reference: Paper presented: EUROTRAC '94, Garmisch-Partenkirchen (DE), July 20, 1994
Availability: Available from (1) as Paper EN 38882 ORA
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