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Twomey effect


Twomey effect

The Twomey effect describes how cloud condensation nuclei (CCN), possibly from anthropogenic pollution, may increase the amount of solar radiation reflected by clouds. This is an indirect effect.

Aerosol particles can act as CCN's creating more droplets which have a smaller size distribution. This increases the cloud albedo as clouds appear whiter and larger, leading to a cooling of between -0.3 and -1.8 Wm−2.[1] For example we observe trails of white clouds from ships crossing the oceans due to this effect.

See also


  1. ^ IPCC 4th Assessment Report, 2005


  • Twomey, S. (December 1974). "Pollution and the planetary albedo". Atmos. Environ. 8 (12): 1251–6.  
  • Twomey, S. (July 1977). "The Influence of Pollution on the Shortwave Albedo of Clouds" (PDF). J. Atmos. Sci. 34 (7): 1149–52.  
  • Rosenfeld, D. (2006). "Aerosol-Cloud Interactions Control of Earth Radiation and Latent Heat Release Budgets". Space Sci Rev 125 (1-4): 149–157.  
  • Lohmann, U. (2006). "Aerosol Effects on Clouds and Climate". Space Sci Rev 125 (1-4): 129–137.  
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