Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Has Northern-hemisphere Pollution Affected Australian Rainfall?

Date:
August 26, 2009
Source:
International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP)
Summary:
New research implicates pollution from Asia, Europe and North America as a contributor to recent Australian rainfall changes.

New research announced at the international Water in a Changing Climate science conference in Melbourne, 24-28 August, implicates pollution from Asia, Europe and North America as a contributor to recent Australian rainfall changes. Australian scientists using a climate model that includes a treatment of tiny particles – or aerosols – report that the build up of these particles in the northern hemisphere affects their simulation of recent climate change in the southern hemisphere, including rainfall in Australia.

Related Articles


The CSIRO climate model, which can include the effects of aerosols caused by humans, suggests that aerosols – whose major sources are in the northern hemisphere – can drive changes in atmospheric and oceanic circulation in the southern hemisphere. Their model results suggest that human-generated aerosols from the northern hemisphere may have contributed to increased rainfall in north-western and central Australia, and decreased rainfall in parts of southern Australia.

Lead researcher, Dr Leon Rotstayn, Principal Research Scientist at the Centre for Australian Weather and Climate Research, a partnership between CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology, said: “Perhaps surprisingly, inclusion of northern hemisphere aerosols may be important for accurate modelling of Australian climate change.”

Aerosols come from many different sources. Sulphur is released when we burn coal and oil. More dust, also an aerosol, circulates in the atmosphere when land is cleared, burned or overgrazed. Some aerosols occur naturally like sea spray and volcanic emissions, but NASA estimates ten percent of the total aerosols in the atmosphere are caused by people. Most of this ten percent is in the northern hemisphere.

European researchers also attending the conference will discuss a new forecasting service that will identify in unprecedented detail where these aerosols are coming from and where they are going.

The new service, part of Europe’s Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) initiative, will give global information on how pollutants move around the world across oceans and continents, and will refine estimates of their sources and sinks.

Dr Adrian Simmons from the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts, which is coordinating the multi-institution initiative, says: “The service will give much more detailed forecast information on air quality over Europe and provide the basis for better health advice across Europe and beyond”. The service has clear implications for environmental policy and legislation.

The five-day conference, organised by the Global Energy and Water Cycle Experiment (GEWEX) and the Integrated Land Ecosystem-Atmosphere Processes Study (iLEAPS) and locally hosted by Monash University, brings together many of the world’s leading experts to discuss the important processes that govern water availability and drought and their role in present and future climate and global change.

Professor Christian Jakob, who holds the Chair for Climate Modelling at Monash University and who chairs the local organising committee for the conference says: “It is fantastic to have attracted more than 350 researchers from more than 15 countries to come to Australia to discuss these very timely issues with us here in Melbourne.”

“The exchanges of energy, carbon and water between the land, ocean and atmosphere are of utmost importance to current and future climate. The fundamental role of the land surface, clouds, aerosols and of course rainfall for climate has been highlighted many times in the reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). This conference will advance our knowledge in all these important areas by bringing world-leading experts together for a week of discussions. It has been a great privilege for me and Monash University to host this event,” he added.

The conference brings together the work of two major international research projects: GEWEX and iLEAPS. These projects complement each other and collaborate in a variety of global-change and climate-change research.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP). "Has Northern-hemisphere Pollution Affected Australian Rainfall?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 August 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090826073544.htm>.
International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP). (2009, August 26). Has Northern-hemisphere Pollution Affected Australian Rainfall?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 28, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090826073544.htm
International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP). "Has Northern-hemisphere Pollution Affected Australian Rainfall?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090826073544.htm (accessed March 28, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Earth & Climate News

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Antarctic Ice Is Melting Faster Than Ever

Antarctic Ice Is Melting Faster Than Ever

Newsy (Mar. 27, 2015) A new study of nearly two decades of satellite data shows Antarctic ice shelves are losing more mass faster every year. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Homes Near Landslide in Washington

Raw: Homes Near Landslide in Washington

AP (Mar. 27, 2015) Aerial footage from KOMO shows several homes near a landslide in Washington. KOMO reports that at least one of the homes has been damaged. (March 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Clean-Up Follows Deadly Weather in Okla.

Clean-Up Follows Deadly Weather in Okla.

AP (Mar. 26, 2015) Gov. Mary Fallin has declared a state of emergency for 25 Oklahoma counties after powerful storms rumbled across the state causing one death, numerous injuries and widespread damage. (March 26) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
At Least Four Dead After Floods in Northern Chile

At Least Four Dead After Floods in Northern Chile

Reuters - News Video Online (Mar. 26, 2015) At least four people have been killed by severe flooding in northern Chile after rains battered the Andes mountains and swept into communities below. Rob Muir reports. Video provided by Reuters
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