Atmospheric science

Smoke above clouds

Aerosols in the atmosphere alter the radiative balance of the Earth by reflecting or absorbing solar radiation. Space-borne measurements of clouds and aerosols advected over the southeastern Atlantic Ocean indicate that the greater the cloud cover below the aerosols, the more likely the aerosols are to heat the planet.

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Figure 1: Aerosols advected over the Atlantic Ocean following wildfires in Portugal in 2008.

NASA/GSFC

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Remer, L. Smoke above clouds. Nature Geosci 2, 167–168 (2009). https://doi.org/10.1038/ngeo456

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