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Fly Along With NASA's Cloud Hunters

Fly Along With NASA's Cloud Hunters

One of the biggest question marks hanging over climate studies right now is about the role of clouds and the aerosols, tiny airborne particles, that shape them. The problem is clouds move fast, making them hard to model, and depending on their concentration at different altitudes, clouds can cool or heat the planet. Scientists agree that before they can build the best models to predict climate change, they first have to understand clouds.

This summer, NASA has been working to crack this problem, at 30,000 feet, aboard a custom-equipped flying laboratory. Climate Desk was invited onboard for an eight-hour mission to suck the secrets out of clouds.

 

Tim McDonnell is a senior fellow on the Climate Desk, where he covers national energy policy and helps produce multimedia content. Previously, Tim was a researcher at Mother Jones. All posts »

James West is Climate Desk’s editor and producer. He’s the author of Beijing Blur, an intimate yet far-reaching account of modernizing China’s underground youth scene. All posts »

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