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By Richard Wilson

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This effect could have significant implications on the climate. As the clouds reflect more sunlight, less of the sun's energy reaches the surface of the earth, which then cools. This means that by putting more aerosols in the atmosphere, humans have the potential to alter the world's climate and cause global cooling. Lightning introduction Lightning is one of the most impressive displays of power in all of nature. It has been a source of mystery and wonder throughout history and can occur just about anywhere on Earth.

Ozone is measured in what are called Dobson units. A Dobson unit of gas is equal to a layer of gas, at the surface of the Earth, with a thickness of one hundredth of a millimeter. The ozone in the atmosphere is about 300 Dobsons. That means if you brought all of the ozone in the atmosphere down to a layer of pure ozone at the surface, it would be about three millimeters thick. It doesn't seem like much, but it's enough to protect you from the Sun's UV rays. Much of the ozone is located about twenty kilometers above the ground, in a part of the atmosphere called the stratosphere.

The main source of CO pollution in the atmosphere are due to grassland and forest fires, agricultural burning, and industry. Notice that many of the CO plumes are picked up by the prevailing winds and can travel quite far. Clouds of CO produced in Asia can travel all the way across the Pacific Ocean and even over North America. The data used to create this movie was aquired by the Measurements of Pollution In The Troposphere (MOPITT) instrument on NASA's Terra satellite. The atmosphere as a membrane The Earth has been compared to a single cell, and the atmosphere is the cell's membrane.

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