Atmospheric particles-also known as aerosol particles or particulate matter-are microscopic particles of solid or liquid matter suspended in the air. They affect air quality and the Earth’s climate. Dr. Rachel Chang, Canada Research Chair in Atmospheric Science, is studying how the sources of these particles-whether land or water, polluted or clean-affect the formation and intensity of coastal fog.
She and her research team are also examining the chemical composition and sources of particles in the Arctic throughout the year. This is important because as the Arctic summer sea ice melts and industrial activities increase, human-made pollution sources will dominate over natural ones, even in summer. This work will help us better understand how particles affect air quality and climate, and how we can control their effects for the benefit of society.