Aerosols are very small particles floating in the air. They play a significant role within the global climate system. By absorption and scattering they influence the global radiation budget directly as well as indirectly by modification of cloud properties.

The development, interaction, and spreading of aerosols of different sources can be simulated with the aerosol-climate model ECHAM-HAM. (Data: Philip Stier, University of Oxford, formerly MPI f. Meteorology)

This animation shows the simulated development of five different aerosols over the course of the year. The model includes natural aerosols like sea salt and dust as well as substances more related to human activities.