The AEROMAP Project has as its aim the development of a satellite-based real-time monitor of global aerosols and their microphysical properties.
To get an idea, view a stunning NASA GEOS-5 video
of aerosols of different types as they flow from out from their source regions and mix. You can also view an
annotated version set to music produced by Phil Plait who writes the
Bad Astronomy blog. The Earth Observatory also
allows you to explore how key parts of Earth's climate system change from month to month in a series of animated global maps:
The best official source of information on the
scientific basis for climate change
can be found in the reports of the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
A thorough understanding of aerosols can be learned by reading Chapter 5 of the IPCC 2001 3rd assessment report:
Aerosols, their direct and indirect effects. Another good general route into the field of aerosol physics
is the following overview by NASA's Earth Observatory,
Aerosols: Tiny Particles, Big Impact. Finally, a step short of leaping into
research on your own, I suggest also reading the following important feature articles:
- New et al (2011) Four degrees and beyond: the potential for a global temperature increase of four degrees and its implications. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. A 2011 369, pp6-19.
- Weart (2010) The idea of anthropogenic global climate change in the 20th century Amer. Inst. Phys. Vol.1, pp 67-81.
- Chin et al (2009) Atmospheric aerosol properties and climate impactsU.S. Climate Change Science Program Synthesis and Assessment Product 2.3
- Ramanathan and Carmichael (2008) Global and regional climate changes due to black carbon. Nature Geoscience 1.4 (2008): 221-227.
- Spracklen (2008) Boreal forests, aerosols and the impacts on clouds and climate Phil. Trans. R. Soc. A 28 December 2008 vol. 366 no. 1885, pp 4613-4626.
- Andreae (2007) Aerosols Before Pollution Science, Vol. 315 no. 5808 pp. 50-51.
- Andreae (2007) Atmospheric aerosols versus greenhouse gases in the twenty-first century Phil. Trans. R. Soc. A, Vol. 365 no. 1856, pp 1915-1923.
- Hansen et al (2007) Climate change and trace gases Phil. Trans. R. Soc. A, Vol. 365 no. 1856, pp 1925-1954.
- Mishchenko et al (2007) Accurate monitoring of terrestrial aerosols and total solar irradiance: introducing the Glory mission Bull. Amer. Met. Soc. 88.5, pp 677-691.
- Kaufman et al (2002) A satellite view of aerosols in the climate system Nature, Vol. 419 pp. 215-223.
- Ramanathan et al (2001) Aerosols, climate, and the hydrological cycle Science Vol. 294, pp2119-2124.
- Hansen et al (2000) Global warming in the twenty-first century: An alternative scenario Proc. Nat. Amer. Sci. vol. 97 no. 18, 9875-9880.
- Hansen et al (1998) Climate forcings in the industrial era. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci., Vol. 95, pp. 12753-12758.
- Hansen et al (1997) The missing climate forcing. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci., Vol. 95, pp. 12753-12758.
The advent of Open Course Ware now makes available graduate level courses to the
interested reader. I regularly look for updates in the courses on:
Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Science. In addition, Professor Irina Sokolik at the Georgia Institute of Technology runs a series of excellent lectures on: