New research unravels the role of aerosol surfaces in climate change
Atmospheric aerosols from human activity have a major impact on the Earth's climate and atmospheric chemistry. Aerosols mainly cool the planet, countering a portion of the warming caused by increasing greenhouse gas concentrations. A full understanding of aerosol climate impacts requires detailed knowledge of the composition and reactivity of aerosol surfaces. The EU-funded AeroSurf project will conduct detailed studies on aerosol surfaces using novel sensitive approaches. Analysis of the surface and bulk molecular composition of levitated micron-sized droplets by mass spectrometry will allow direct investigation of aerosol surface chemistry. These new approaches will address outstanding questions in interfacial photochemistry, link droplet surface tension directly to climate impacts and resolve poorly understood aspects of aerosol chemistry.
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