What Are Aerosols and How Do They Impact Our Climate System?

The word “aerosol” might make us think of hairspray and Fabreeze cans, but under the scientific definition, aerosols are a wide range of solid and liquid particles ranging from sea salt to dust to black carbon that end up in the atmosphere. These aerosols actually have a net cooling effect on the climate, but considering their health impacts and their propensity to worsen droughts and rainstorms, excess aerosols are far from desirable. Today, we explore the problems aerosols create, how they are emitted both naturally and anthropogenically, and where we go from here. With special guest Dr. Faye McNeill, Professor of Chemical Engineering and Earth and Environmental Sciences at Columbia University.