View from a specially outfitted C-130 aircraft operated by the National Center for Atmospheric Research in the skies over Wyoming. (Image: Andrew J. Heymsfield, NCAR)
The climate change debate has focused our collective attention on the importance of understanding the complex workings of our planet's weather system, but there is still much we don't know. In this latest breakthrough, a UC San Diego-led team of atmospheric chemistry researchers has made the first-ever direct detection of biological particles within ice clouds. By providing insights into, for example, how particles from Asia effect rainfall in North America, the research aims to shed light on one of the most uncertain factors of climate modeling and enhance our understanding of atmospheric cooling and regional precipitation.