ACE will help to answer emerging fundamental science questions associated with aerosols, clouds, air quality and global ocean ecosystems.
ACE will assist in answering fundamental science questions associated with aerosols, clouds, and ocean ecosystems, by making improved and more comprehensive measurements through the use of innovative and advanced remote sensing technologies. Aerosols measured by ACE include those of both man-made and natural origins, the latter of which is contributed significantly by ocean ecosystems.
For aerosols, ACE seeks to distinguish aerosol types and associated optical properties and size. For cloud systems and processes, ACE will measure profiles of cloud hydrometeors, distinguishing cloud droplets and raindrops, and ice crystals and snow, including profile measurements of particle size and cloud optical properties. The properties and behaviors of cloud hydrometeors are known to change in the presence of aerosols while clouds are also known to significantly process and alter the aerosols population.
The surface and microscopic ecosystem of Earth's ocean is a crucial link in the global carbon cycle. ACE will be able to make more accurate measurements and distinguish those ocean ecosystem components that actively take up and/or store carbon dioxide from those that don't.