Atmospheric particulate matter - also known as particulate matter (PM) or particulates - is microscopic solid or liquid matter suspended in the Earth's atmosphere. The term aerosol commonly refers to the particulate/air mixture, as opposed to the particulate matter alone. Sources of particulate matter can be man-made or natural. They have impacts on climate and precipitation that adversely affect human health. Subtypes of atmospheric particle matter include suspended particulate matter (SPM), respirable suspended particle (RSP; particles with diameter of 10 micrometres or less), fine particles (diameter of 2.5 micrometres or less), ultrafine particles, and soot.