Aerosol Microphysics News
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Aerosol Physics & Climate Research at ASRC
Researchers: Fangqun Yu
The past decade has seen the growing importance of atmospheric aerosols (both from natural
and anthropogenic sources) in a range of real-word problems. Atmospheric particles influence
Earth´s climate directly by scattering and absorption of solar radiation, and indirectly by
affecting cloud properties, precipitation, and the hydrologic cycle. The aerosol indirect
radiative forcing is poorly constrained in climate models and this represents the single
greatest uncertainty in assessing climate change. Aerosol particles are the carriers of a
number of hazardous air pollutants, are known to have adverse health effects, are associated
with acid deposition, and can cause regional haze that obscures scenic vistas. Atmospheric
aerosols also act as sites for chemical reactions (i.e., heterogeneous chemistry). The
effects of atmospheric aerosols depend strongly on the particle size distribution,
composition, hygroscopic properties, and mixing state that are determined by a number
of microphysical and chemical processes. Key aerosol properties exhibit significant spatial
and temporal variability at both regional and global scales due to their short residence
times and the non-linear dependence of production rates on atmospheric conditions.
More detailed and updated information about our research (including publications) can be found at http://www.albany.edu/~yfq/.