There is an increasing amount of research being conducted on atmospheric particles. Researchers working in the field are developing knowledge on how the atmosphere works by studying the particles within it and what effect they have on atmospheric processes. This work is fed into atmospheric and climate models and has impacts on policy, climate change mitigation plans and potentially forecasting.
There is a link between a particle’s size and composition and how those parameters affect ice nucleation in the atmosphere. Particles with different compositions nucleate ice to different extents and so by combining knowledge of the range of particle sizes and compositions with experiments on ice nucleation the effects of those particles on processes such as cloud formation can be determined.
Similar methods are applicable to studies of pollutants with particles of different compositions having different effects when they enter the human body.