Dust, Fire, Soot Inhibits Rainfall

  • Released Monday, February 9th, 2004
  • Updated Wednesday, May 3rd, 2023 at 1:56PM
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Three Contributing Factors for Rainfall Inhibition - Dust is only one of three types of aerosols which can inhibit rainfall. Previous studies have shown that aerosols from biomass burning (i.e. burning of plant material such as forests, grasslands, and agricultural waste) and aerosols from man-made pollution also contribute to disturbing the rainfall process. This animation highlights the power of these three factors vs. the normal conditions of the rainfall
process. In this virtual world, a dust storm rises from arid conditions. Biomass burning sends smoke and an industrial complex adds pollutants into clouds and the atmosphere, thus preventing any rainfall. The cloud on the left shows rainfall production in normal conditions.


Please give credit for this item to:
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Conceptual Image Lab