New theory on drizzle formation says a few big drops get all the water
In research that could lead to more accurate weather forecasts and climate models, scientists at the U.S. Department of Energys Brookhaven National Laboratory say a physical limit on the number of cloud droplets that grow big enough to form drizzle paradoxically makes drizzle form faster. Thats because those few droplets that cross the drizzle "barrier" readily collect enough surrounding droplets to fall -- instead of staying stuck in the clouds competing for a limited water supply and never getting quite big enough.
Atmospheric physical chemist Robert McGraw, lead author of the Brookhaven study, will present this research on Thursday, August 26, 2004, at the 228th national meeting of the American Chemical Society in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (Pennsylvania Convention Center, Room 103A, 9:40 a.m. Eastern Time), together with Brookhaven cloud physicist and co-author Yangang Liu. The research will also be published in an upcoming edition of Physical Review E.
Karen McNulty Walsh | EurekAlert!
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