The role of sea spray in cleansing air pollution over ocean via cloud processes

Daniel Rosenfeld*, Ronen Lahav, Alexander Khain, Mark Pinsky

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

175 Scopus citations

Abstract

Particulate air pollution has been shown to strongly suppress precipitation from convective clouds over land. New observations show that precipitation from similar polluted clouds over oceans is much less affected, because large sea salt nuclei override the precipitation suppression effect of the large number of small pollution nuclei. Raindrops initiated by the sea salt grow by collecting small cloud droplets that form on the pollution particles, thereby cleansing the air. Therefore, sea salt helps cleanse the atmosphere of the air pollution via cloud processes. This implies that over oceans, the climatic aerosol indirect effects are significantly smaller than current estimates.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1667-1670
Number of pages4
JournalScience
Volume297
Issue number5587
DOIs
StatePublished - 6 Sep 2002

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