26 Apr '18, 2pm

Smog Smothers Solar Energy in China

On some hazy days, particularly in winter, China's skies are blanketed by white and gray clouds of air pollutants . New research shows that such smog not only dims the daylight and makes the air hard to breathe, but it reduces the amount of sunlight reaching China's solar panels. In the new study , researchers at Princeton University examined how solar power resources in China are affected by atmospheric aerosols — small liquid and solid particles that can scatter sunlight back into space or increase cloud formation. The researchers used surface irradiance data from NASA's Clouds and the Earth's Radiant Energy System (CERES) and a computer model that calculates the impact of aerosols and clouds on surface radiation by examining the amount of solar energy falling on Earth’s surface. The visualization at the top of the page shows the average effect of aerosols on the amount ...

Full article: https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=92054&...

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