I recently came across a science writer's page according to which clouds are liquid water. I pointed out to this author that in reality clouds are made up of a dispersion of water micro-droplets in a gas and therefore are aerosols from the physical-chemistry point of view. I received a rather abrupt answer and therefore I wonder if slightly different definitions apply in the field of meteorology than in physical-chemistry. So my question is: how is defined the state of a cloud in meteorology, is it a liquid or an aerosol?

quoting Wikipedia:

"An aerosol is a suspension of fine solid particles or liquid droplets in air or another gas".

"A liquid is a nearly incompressible fluid that conforms to the shape of its container but retains a nearly constant volume independent of pressure".

  • $\begingroup$ Looks like fog is often termed an aerosol, so that would well support your thinking. $\endgroup$ Dec 3, 2023 at 3:35
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    $\begingroup$ If they are made of liquid droplets then would marking it as an aerosol not simply be more specific? Although, to be honest, I'm pretty sure that ice also exists inside of clouds so in that case "aerosols" would also be more correct. $\endgroup$ Dec 3, 2023 at 17:34


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