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Picture of the Day

Cloud in a box

There are few absolutes in life, but Will Cantrell--professor of physics at Michigan Technological University--says this is one: “Every cloud droplet in Earth’s atmosphere formed on a preexisting aerosol particle.” And the way those droplets form--with scarce or plentiful aerosol particles – could have serious implications for weather and climate change. It’s been known for decades that cleaner clouds tend to have bigger cloud droplets. But through research conducted in Michigan Tech’s cloud chamber, Cantrell, graduate student Kamal Kant Chandrakar, fellow physics professor Raymond Shaw and colleagues found that cleaner clouds also have a much wider variability in droplet size. So wide, in fact, that some are large enough to be considered drizzle drops.

Visit Website | Image credit: Sarah Bird, Michigan Tech