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Studying aerosols with satellites (video)
10/25/2010 | Amy Cline, University of New Hampshire (Ocean Systems)
Tags: aerosols, 11.03.10 webinar

What do you think of when you hear the word aerosol? Do you think of hairspray or air freshener? These would be technically correct - aerosols are tiny particles suspended in air that are produced by cars and factories as well as from natural sources such as volcanoes and sea spray. Aerosols can be detrimental to the air we breathe and can affect how scientists study the ocean.

Have you ever thought about how or why scientists study aerosols and their affects over the ocean? This short video describes how a scientist at the University of New Hampshire, Dr. Hui Feng, uses measurements on land and from satellites to better understand the ocean and climate.

Satellite Ocean Aerosol Research
Click the image above to open a movie featuring University of New Hampshire scientist Dr. Hui Feng's quest to understand how aerosols impact ocean research.

Dr. Hui Feng’s current research is focused on understanding how aerosols in the atmosphere impact what is seen in a satellite image over the ocean. For scientists who use satellites as their primary data source to study the ocean, it is very important to figure out how to separate the information in the atmosphere from the data about the ocean. This video helps to explain more about the science behind Hui’s work. Hui participated in one of COSEE-OS's Educator-Scientist collaborative workshops, and you can check out Hui’s concept map to get a better understanding of how he thinks about the connections within his work.

Beyond Hui’s research, aerosol scientists like Dr. Carolyn Jordan (who is featured in next week's ROLE Model Webinar) are trying to understand how aerosols affect the air we breathe, cloud formation, climate and more. In general, aerosols affect the way clouds form, which then affects how much sunlight reaches the earth.

Additional aerosol resources:

NASA Earth Observatory : Aerosols & Climate Change http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/Aerosols

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