High in the sky, water in clouds lures airborne pollutants such as sulfur dioxide into reactive aqueous particulates. Although this behavior is not incorporated into today’s climate-modeling scenarios, emerging research suggests it should be.
The uptake of gases like sulfur dioxide has important implications in understanding airborne pollutants and their role in global warming and climate change. Sulfur dioxide that has come together with water reflects light coming toward the planet, while carbon dioxide accumulating in the atmosphere traps heat onto the planet.
Understanding the interaction of surface water molecules, such as those in clouds and fog, with pollutants rising from human activity below may help scientists better predict potential chemical reactions occurring in the atmosphere and their impacts,