If it’s cinematic entertainment you want, then I have a couple of recommendations: on the big screen, Skyfall (it delivers entertainment with style and gusto), in the privacy of your own home, Paint by Particle, a stunning epic directed and produced by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. This sweeping saga tells graphically the dramatic and compelling story of aerosols in our planet’s atmosphere – the image above is a detail, the one below a global extract.
The cast of characters is as follows: red dust, blue sea-salt, white sulphate, and green carbon. Prepare for the shocking moment when Karthala volcano on Grande Comore Island, off the southeast coast of Africa, erupts. Wonder at the onslaught of Saharan dust on the Atlantic. Cower in your seat as fires spew black and organic carbon across the globe.
Paint by Particle is a worthy sequel to Perpetual Ocean, NASA’s earlier production in which, with a stunning Van Gogh-like style (not an original observation), the “swirling flows of tens of thousands of ocean currents were captured.”
Watch and wonder – and feel intense gratitude to NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center and the people who are clever enough to do these things.
[Phil Plait, on Bad Astonomy, has posted a slowed and annotated version of the aerosol video, and thanks, Walter, for pointing me to all this.]