TILclimate: Clouds

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

EAPS Associate Professor of atmospheric chemistry Dan Cziczo describes the complexity of particulate matter and cloud formation, how human activities are changing clouds, and what that means for our climate.

Listen and read the transcript at TILclimate.

Humans have changed clouds: where they form, how much precipitation they produce, and how quickly it rains or snows. In this episode of TILclimate (Today I Learned: Climate), MIT's Dan Cziczo joins host Laur Hesse Fisher to spell out why this is, and what this has to do with climate change. They explore how clouds form in the first place, how human activity has impacted cloud formation and rainfall, and what scientists are still trying to understand. They touch upon the emerging field of geoengineering and how humans could create more clouds to cool the planet -- but we’ll have full episode on that coming out soon.

Dan Cziczo is an associate professor of atmospheric chemistry in the Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences (EAPS) and has been an MIT faculty member since 2011. Cziczo is interested in the relationship between particulate matter and cloud formation, and his research focuses on how human activities are changing clouds and particles, and what those changes mean for atmospheric science.

About TILclimate: This MIT podcast breaks down the science, technologies, and policies behind climate change, how it’s impacting us, and what we can do about it. Each quick episode gives you the what, why, and how on climate change -- from real scientists -- to help us make informed decisions for our future. Listen on iTunes, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts. The podcast is supported by the MIT Environmental Solutions Initiative.