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Last Update: 2009-02-04
Aerosols can be a type of spray bottle, but they are also anything that is suspended in the air, such as smoke, gases and carbon dioxide, which are causing intense changes in the climate and atmosphere. Understand the definition of aerosols with advice... View Video Transcript
Hi this is Yolanda Vanveen and in this segment we're going to talk about aerosols. Now an aerosol is anything that is suspended in a gas and so aerosols as we know them are usually spray bottles whether it's a spray type of a shortening or a spray paint, we all consider them or hairspray, we consider that an aerosol. But really man made aerosols only constitute probably less than 10% of all the aerosols that are in the air. And the remainder of the aerosols are coming from industrial plants or wood and forests that are burning, any smoke and carbon dioxide from the cars and the vehicles, anything that's going into our air that's not natural is man made, but there's a lot of smoke and ash and different types of aerosols that are natural. And what is happening is that there's so much aerosol naturally and unnaturally in the air and what happens is that it creates real thick clouds and when there's lots of clouds that don't have moisture in them, they have anything else that's chemical or smoke in them, they stop the sunlight from hitting the earth. And so what is happening is that by having so many aerosols in our air, we are getting really cold, cold winters because not enough sun is hitting onto the planet and they're realizing that the Pacific is warming up because of global warming. But because the Pacific is warming up, it's making really thick clouds over the landmass of North America and we're getting really cold winters, colder than we've had in 40 or 50 years. And so we're thinking global warming, how can that be making cold winters, but in actuality we're getting less sun and we're getting more rain or more clouds without the rain and so the oceans are warming up but the land is getting colder. They think that the aerosols have a lot to do with it and a lot of different studies are finding though in areas where there are a lot of drought and it is becoming really hard for humans to live that they can actually shoot off different types of aerosols into the sky to create clouds. So there's a lot of technology around aerosols and it's a really controversial issues because what they're saying is that the aerosol is actually cooling our climate whereas global warming is warming our climate and that they're not working together at the same time. But our climate is changing and that's undeniable and just by not using as many aerosols in our lives, then we probably can stop the change in our climate quicker and then we can all live easier lives.