Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Pollution From China And India Affecting World's Weather

Date:
March 7, 2007
Source:
Texas A&M University
Summary:
Severe pollution from the Far East is almost certainly affecting the weather near you, says a Texas A&M University researcher who has studied the problem and has published a landmark paper on the topic in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Severe pollution from the Far East is almost certainly affecting the weather near you, says a Texas A&M University researcher who has studied the problem and has published a landmark paper on the topic in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Related Articles


Renyi Zhang, professor of atmospheric sciences at Texas A&M and lead author of the paper, says the study is the first of its kind that provides indisputable evidence that man-made pollution is adversely affecting the storm track over the Pacific Ocean, a major weather event in the northern hemisphere during winter. The project was funded by the National Science Foundation and NASA.

Zhang says the culprit is easy to detect: pollution from industrial and power plants in China and India. Both countries have seen huge increases in their economies, which means more large factories and power plants to sustain such growth. All of these emit immense quantities of pollution -- much of it soot and sulfate aerosols -- into the atmosphere, which is carried by the prevailing winds over the Pacific Ocean and eventually worldwide.

Using satellite imagery and computer models, Zhang says that in roughly the last 20 years or so, the amount of deep convective clouds in this area increased from 20 to 50 percent, suggesting an intensified storm track in the Pacific.

"This pollution directly affects our weather," he explains.

"During the past few decades, there has been a dramatic increase in atmospheric aerosols -- mostly sulfate and soot from coal burning -- especially in China and India," he explains.

"We compared these deep convective clouds from the 10-year period of 1984-1994 to the period from 1994-2005 and discovered these storms have risen anywhere from 20 to as high as 50 percent."

"It is a direct link from large-scale storm systems to anthropogenic (human-made) pollution."

Zhang says the problem is especially worse during the winter months.

Because of various climate conditions, the northern Pacific Ocean is more susceptible to the aerosol effect in winter. Aerosols can affect the droplets in clouds and can actually change the dynamics of the clouds themselves, Zhang adds.

The Pacific storm track carries these polluted particles to the west coasts of Canada and the United States, across America and eventually, most of the world, Zhang notes.

"The Pacific storm track can impact weather all over the globe," he says.

"The general air flow is from west to east, but there is also some serious concern that the polar regions could be affected by this pollution. That could have potentially catastrophic results."

Soot, in the form of black carbon, can collect on ice packs and attract more heat from the sun, meaning a potential acceleration of melting of the polar ice caps, he believes.

"It possibly means the polar ice caps could melt quicker than we had believed, which of course, results in rising sea level rates," he adds.

The pollution from the storm tracks could also signify wild weather changes, he believes.

"You might have more storms, and these storms might be more severe than usual," he says.

"Or it could lead to the opposite -- severe droughts in other areas. The Pacific storm track plays a crucial role in our weather, and there is no doubt at all that human activity is changing the world's weather."



Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Texas A&M University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Texas A&M University. "Pollution From China And India Affecting World's Weather." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 March 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/03/070306101319.htm>.
Texas A&M University. (2007, March 7). Pollution From China And India Affecting World's Weather. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/03/070306101319.htm
Texas A&M University. "Pollution From China And India Affecting World's Weather." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/03/070306101319.htm (accessed October 24, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Friday, October 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Dances With Wolves in China's Wild West

Dances With Wolves in China's Wild West

AFP (Oct. 23, 2014) One man is on a mission to boost the population of wolves in China's violence-wracked far west. The animal - symbol of the Uighur minority there - is under threat with a massive human resettlement program in the region. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
San Diego Zoo's White Rhinos Provide Hope for the Critically Endangered Species

San Diego Zoo's White Rhinos Provide Hope for the Critically Endangered Species

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Oct. 22, 2014) The pair of rare white northern rhinos bring hope for their species as only six remain in the world. Elly Park reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Trick-or-Treating Banned Because of Polar Bears

Trick-or-Treating Banned Because of Polar Bears

Buzz60 (Oct. 21, 2014) Mother Nature is pulling a trick on the kids of Arviat, Canada. As Mara Montalbano (@maramontalbano) tells us, the effects of global warming caused the town to ban trick-or-treating this Halloween. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional Farming Methods Gaining Ground in Mali

Traditional Farming Methods Gaining Ground in Mali

AFP (Oct. 20, 2014) He is leading a one man agricultural revolution in Mali - Oumar Diatabe uses traditional farming methods to get the most out of his land and is teaching others across the country how to do the same. Duration: 01:44 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins