Australian Research Project Aims to Understand Impact of Clouds on Earth's Climate
15:00 - May 30, 2024

Australian Research Project Aims to Understand Impact of Clouds on Earth's Climate

TEHRAN (ANA)- Researchers from Australia's national science agency have launched a project that will seek to understand how liquid clouds in the Southern Ocean affect Earth's climate.
News ID : 6075

The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) announced that scientists will spend 17 months at the Kennaook/Cape Grim Baseline Air Pollution Station in the island state of Tasmania studying atmospheric aerosols in a bid to address gaps in climate models.

Because of high water purity, clouds that form over the Southern Ocean are often made up of super-cooled liquid water instead of ice. Super-cooled liquid water clouds reflect more sunlight back to space than ice clouds do, helping to cool the surface of the ocean.

Melita Keywood, a CSIRO Senior Principal Research Scientist, said the project would help fill gaps in the understanding of cloud properties as a factor in climate science by measuring how much sunlight clouds over the ocean reflect back to space and how much heat is trapped in Earth's atmosphere.

"New data will help explain what's happening between the surface and the clouds, and what's happening within the unique 'super-cooled' liquid clouds that are known to form in the region," she said in a media release.

"With Earth just recording its hottest year on record, better quantifying how much heat is trapped in Earth's atmosphere has never been so important."

Aerosols play a key role in cloud formation by enabling water to condense and form into clouds.

The main source of aerosols in the Southern Ocean are sea spray and gasses released by phytoplankton.

The Cloud and Precipitation Experiment at kennaook (CAPE-k) project is a collaboration between the CSIRO, Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) and U.S. Department of Energy's Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) facility.


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