Aerosol particles in the atmosphere interact with sunlight and initiate cloud formation, thereby affecting radiation transfer and modifying our climate. Aerosol particles also influence air quality and play important roles in various environmental processes. As the tropospheric aerosol is a heterogeneous mixture of various particle types, its climate and environmental effects can only be fully understood through detailed knowledge of the physical and chemical properties of the particles. Here, we review the formation and removal mechanisms of aerosol particles, the major approaches to study their physical and chemical properties, and discuss the most important categories of particle types. The focus of this review is on the 'mineralogical' identification and characterization of individual particles. We review the sources, transport and transformation mechanisms of the various particle types, their interactions with radiation and clouds, focusing on the results of the last 15 years.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geochemistry and Petrology