How do aerosols impact climate and air quality?
Aerosol particles are emitted from Earth’s surface both naturally (e.g., dust, sea-salt, biogenic emissions), and as a result of human activities. They also are created and modified by chemical processes in the atmosphere and they are constantly cycled among the Earth’s oceans, atmosphere, and biosphere. They have an effect on the energy balance of the atmosphere either by directly scattering and absorbing radiation, by serving as condensation nuclei during cloud formation, and by influencing precipitation. Their presence also affects photosynthesis and agricultural production. These same particles that affect climate also impact the quality of the air that we breathe and the health of all living organisms.