Skip navigation
D. Milestone Achieved in Analyzing Pollutants Dimming the Atmosphere

Narrator: This is Science Today. An important milestone in the tracking of pollutants responsible for dimming the Earth's atmosphere has been reached by a group of scientists led by Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California , San Diego . Scripps scientist Veerabhadran Ramanathan says they used unmanned aerial vehicles, or UAV, technology.

Ramanathan: For four weeks, we probed the polluted atmosphere above the Indian Ocean with lightweight UAVs loaded with instruments such as these to probe the atmosphere to understand how we are polluting the atmosphere as human beings and in turn how this pollution is impacting climate change, including global warming.

Narrator: In particular, three UAVs observed conditions below, inside and above clouds to study in unprecedented detail how pollution particles contribute to the formation of polluted clouds that dim the atmosphere.

Ramanathan: We convincingly demonstrated these lightweight UAVs are uniquely qualified to understand this problem.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.