Uncommon Sense

politics and society are, unfortunately, much the same thing

Cool high speed video: Rainfall can release aerosols, study finds

Watts Up With That?

High-speed imaging captures raindrops releasing clouds of aerosols on impact, showing once again that we just don’t know all the sources for aerosols and other climate forcings.

Aerosol generation after drop impingement on porous media is a three-step process, consisting of bubble formation, bubble growth, and bubble bursting. Image courtesy of Youngsoo Joung Aerosol generation after drop impingement on porous media is a three-step process, consisting of bubble formation, bubble growth, and bubble bursting. Image courtesy of Youngsoo Joung

From the Massachusetts Institute of Technology:

Ever notice an earthy smell in the air after a light rain? Now scientists at MIT believe they may have identified the mechanism that releases this aroma, as well as other aerosols, into the environment.

Using high-speed cameras, the researchers observed that when a raindrop hits a porous surface, it traps tiny air bubbles at the point of contact. As in a glass of champagne, the bubbles then shoot upward, ultimately bursting from the drop in a fizz of aerosols.

The team was also able to predict the amount of aerosols…

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