Thursday, May 17, 2007

Asia Saves US? Or Dooms Us?

Asian desert dust and city pollution is swirling in vast plumes across the Pacific to North America, interacting with storms and possibly spurring climate change, an airborne scientist said on Tuesday.


Ice crystals are found in extremely cold clouds, and when the crystals are composed entirely of frozen water, they reflect lots of sunlight -- that's why these clouds look so white, Ramanathan said by telephone after the Web chat.

However, if particles of dust and a dark pollutant known as black carbon managed to get inside the crystals, these clouds might absorb more solar energy rather than reflecting it all, Ramanathan said.

One World. One Atmosphere. ;)

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