Marine clouds over the open oceans form as water vapor condenses on aerosol particles, and these clouds play an important role in the Earth’s climate. Researchers have found that new aerosol particles form near the clouds under certain conditions, and these particles influence the clouds’ properties and thus, the climate. However, how and why these particles form is not well understood.
Jian Wang, professor of energy, environmental and chemical engineering at the McKelvey School of Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis, will lead a team of researchers that will analyze data collected from field studies to better understand how the particles form over open oceans and their impact on cloud properties with a three-year $457,778 grant from the National Science Foundation. The work builds on previous research published in Nature Communications in January 2021.