Interview: Creating Clouds in a Lab
To Better Forecast Climate Change
At the renowned CERN research laboratory in Switzerland, scientists are conducting experiments to help solve a key riddle: the role of clouds in future climate change. Leading that study is British physicist
Jasper Kirkby, who oversees complex experiments in a large, sterile, stainless steel chamber that are designed to help resolve one of the biggest uncertainties of climate change — how clouds form and what role they play in regulating Earth’s temperature. In an interview with Yale Environment 360
, Kirkby talks about the role that cosmic rays — charged particles that hit the Earth from outer space — may play in cloud formation, discusses the pitfalls of geoengineering the planet by trying to mimic the formation of clouds, and explains why his experiments could help clear up uncertainties about climate change. “We’ve got to reduce that uncertainty if we’re to really sharpen our understanding for future climate projections,” says Kirkby. Read the interview
Yale Environment 360 is
a publication of the
Yale School of Forestry
& Environmental Studies
Yale Environment 360
articles are now available in Spanish and Portuguese on Universia
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Business & Innovation
Policy & Politics
Pollution & Health
Science & Technology
Antarctica and the Arctic
Central & South America
Photographer Robert Wintner documents the exquisite beauty and biodiversity of Cuba’s coral reefs, which are largely intact thanks to stifled coastal development in the communist nation. View the gallery.
is now available for mobile devices at e360.yale.edu/mobile
The Warriors of Qiugang
, a Yale Environment 360
video, chronicles a Chinese village’s fight against a polluting chemical plant. It was nominated for a 2011 Academy Award for Best Documentary Short.
Watch the video.
Top Image: aerial view of Iceland
. © Google & TerraMetrics.
A three-part series Tainted Harvest
looks at the soil pollution crisis in China, the threat it poses to the food supply, and the complexity of any cleanup. Read the series.