By: Smriti Sharma Origin of aerosols dictates cloud shape How cloudy is it outside? The answers may depend on the level of atmospheric pollution in one’s region. Cloud-forming microscopic particles, called aerosols, absorb and reflect solar radiation. These particles have the ability to modify cloud formation and encourage or suppress precipitation. They can be released from manmade sources like vehicles, industry, agriculture, and natural sources like sea salt, volcanic dust, sulphates from biogenic gases.