Department of Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering in the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan


PNAS paper by CLaSP researchers presents new data on effects of radiative cooling

Posted: November 17, 2017

PNAS paper by CLaSP researchers presents new data on effects of radiative cooling
CLaSP researcher Jialei Zhu is first author on a new paper that was published by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). The papaer's authors found the way in which secondary organic aerosols (SOAs) are formed directly impacts their radiative cooling effects on our atmosphere. The paper, “Mechanism of SOA formation determines magnitude of radiative effects,” was published on the PNAS website this past week.  

Faculty member Joyce Penner, Ralph J. Cicerone Distinguished University Professor of Atmospheric Science, who is Zhu’s adviser and second author on the paper, explains its significance: 
“…the manner of formation of the SOA changes the aerosol size distribution, which changes the amount of radiative cooling by the particles. [It was] thought originally that with more production of SOA from biogenic sources in the future (due to climate change), there might be significant cooling. However, this is reversed (when not accounting for size distribution changes) if both climate change, anthropogenic emissions changes and land use change are included. Our study has reversed this again, since when you account for size distribution changes, the amount of cooling is much larger than that using a simple scaling by burden. This was really a surprise to us. However, we note that the cooling is not enough to reverse the effects of CO2 increases.”

Read the full paper on the PNAS site:‚Äč