Cloud formation is not affected by organic particles attached to water droplets, researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have shown. This finding goes toward reducing the unpredictability of climate modelling.
The team used a plane to fly their equipment over various locations, including Mexico City and Finland, and found that pollution produced little change in the speed at which clouds formed. The slower droplets form, the more there are in clouds, greatly affecting cloud coverage and behaviour.
Clouds play an important role in climate change, either retaining or reflecting heat, and this research enables firmer predictions. Future flights will include analysing the air over China and seeing what effects ice has on droplet kinetics.