Concept

Cloud condensation nuclei

Summary
Cloud condensation nuclei (CCNs), also known as cloud seeds, are small particles typically 0.2 µm, or one hundredth the size of a cloud droplet. CCNs are a unique subset of aerosols in the atmosphere on which water vapour condenses. This can affect the radiative properties of clouds and the overall atmosphere. Water requires a non-gaseous surface to make the transition from a vapour to a liquid; this process is called condensation. In the atmosphere of Earth, this surface presents itself as tiny solid or liquid particles called CCNs. When no CCNs are present, water vapour can be supercooled at about for 5–6 hours before droplets spontaneously form. This is the basis of the cloud chamber for detecting subatomic particles. The concept of CCN is used in cloud seeding, which tries to encourage rainfall by seeding the air with condensation nuclei. It has further been suggested that creating such nuclei could be used for marine cloud brightening, a climate engineering technique. So
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