Prof. Dan Cziczo discusses Climate Change
Climate Change discussion by Dan Cziczo, Associate Prof. at MIT
- What you should know about climate change
- Effective way s to shape climate policy
- Effective actions to take individually
It has been known for over a century that greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and methane warm the planet by trapping heat. What is not as well known is that particles can cool the planet by reflecting sunlight into space and by acting as the seeds on which clouds form. Particles and clouds are also of contemporary interest because it has been suggested they might affect climate by interacting with cosmic rays or be used to manipulate the Earth’s temperature.
Cziczo’s research group utilizes laboratory and field studies to elucidate how small particles interact with water vapor to form droplets and ice crystals, which are important players in the Earth’s climate system. Experiments include using small cloud chambers in the laboratory to mimic atmospheric conditions that lead to cloud formation and observing clouds in situ from remote mountaintop sites or through the use of research aircraft.
Current specific research interests include chemical composition of atmospheric aerosols with an emphasis on their effect on cloud formation mechanisms, Earth’s radiative budget, and meteoritic debris and launch vehicle emissions in the atmosphere. More information at http://cziczogroup.scripts.mit.edu/wp/.