Floating air particles following disasters and other geological events can have a lasting impact on life on Earth, and a new model drawing on chaos theory looks to help predict how these particles move, with an eye toward applications for geoengineering. Tímea Haszpra developed a model for following particles as they travel around the globe. Using it, she has generated maps that can be used to predict how particles will be dispersed above the world.
This image shows the geographical distribution of the lifetime tau of particles initialized uniformly over the globe, Jan. 1, 2016, 00 UTC on the 500 hectopascal pressure level (about 5.5-kilometer altitude). Particle radius is 5 micrometers, particle density is 2,000 kg/m3.