Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Air pollution from Asia affecting world's weather

Date:
January 21, 2014
Source:
Texas A&M University
Summary:
Extreme air pollution in Asia is affecting the world’s weather and climate patterns, according to a new study. Using climate models and data collected about aerosols and meteorology over the past 30 years, researchers found that air pollution over Asia -- much of it coming from China -- is impacting global air circulations.

Satellite photo shows huge air pollution clouds at far left. Japan is on the right.
Credit: JPL / NASA

Extreme air pollution in Asia is affecting the world's weather and climate patterns, according to a study by Texas A&M University and NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory researchers.

Yuan Wang, a former doctoral student at Texas A&M, along with Texas A&M atmospheric sciences professors Renyi Zhang and R. Saravanan, have had their findings published in the current issue of Nature Communications.

Using climate models and data collected about aerosols and meteorology over the past 30 years, the researchers found that air pollution over Asia -- much of it coming from China -- is impacting global air circulations.

"The models clearly show that pollution originating from Asia has an impact on the upper atmosphere and it appears to make such storms or cyclones even stronger," Zhang explains.

"This pollution affects cloud formations, precipitation, storm intensity and other factors and eventually impacts climate. Most likely, pollution from Asia can have important consequences on the weather pattern here over North America."

China's booming economy during the last 30 years has led to the building of enormous manufacturing factories, industrial plants, power plants and other facilities that produce huge amounts of air pollutants. Once emitted into the atmosphere, pollutant particles affect cloud formations and weather systems worldwide, the study shows.

Increases in coal burning and car emissions are major sources of pollution in China and other Asian countries.

Air pollution levels in some Chinese cities, such as Beijing, are often more than 100 times higher than acceptable limits set by the World Health Organization standards, Zhang says.

One study has shown that lung cancer rates have increased 400 percent in some areas due to the ever-growing pollution problem.

Conditions tend to worsen during winter months when a combination of stagnant weather patterns mixed with increased coal burning in many Asian cities can create pollution and smog that can last for weeks. The Chinese government has pledged to toughen pollution standards and to commit sufficient financial resources to attack the problem. "The models we have used and our data are very consistent with the results we have reached," Saravanan says.

"Huge amounts of aerosols from Asia go as high as six miles up in the atmosphere and these have an unmistakable impact on cloud formations and weather."

Zhang adds that "we need to do some future research on exactly how these aerosols are transported globally and impact climate. There are many other atmospheric observations and models we need to look at to see how this entire process works."

Yuan Wang, who conducted the research with Zhang while at Texas A&M, currently works at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory as a Caltech Postdoctoral Scholar.

The study was funded by grants from NASA, Texas A&M's Supercomputing facilities and the Ministry of Science and Technology of China.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Yuan Wang, Renyi Zhang, R. Saravanan. Asian pollution climatically modulates mid-latitude cyclones following hierarchical modelling and observational analysis. Nature Communications, 2014; 5 DOI: 10.1038/ncomms4098

Cite This Page:

Texas A&M University. "Air pollution from Asia affecting world's weather." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 January 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140121130034.htm>.
Texas A&M University. (2014, January 21). Air pollution from Asia affecting world's weather. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140121130034.htm
Texas A&M University. "Air pollution from Asia affecting world's weather." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140121130034.htm (accessed August 1, 2014).

Share This




More Earth & Climate News

Friday, August 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Visitors Feel Part of the Pack at Wolf Preserve

Visitors Feel Part of the Pack at Wolf Preserve

AP (July 31, 2014) Seacrest Wolf Preserve on the northern Florida panhandle allows more than 10,000 visitors each year to get up close and personal with Arctic and British Columbian Wolves. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers

Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers

AP (July 31, 2014) With Florida's panther population rebounding, some ranchers complain the protected predators are once again killing their calves. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Big Waves In Arctic Ocean Threaten Polar Ice

Big Waves In Arctic Ocean Threaten Polar Ice

Newsy (July 30, 2014) Big waves in parts of the Arctic Ocean are unprecedented, mainly because they used to be covered in ice. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle

Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle

AP (July 30, 2014) Thousands of people are trekking to a Bavarian farmer's field to check out a mysterious set of crop circles. (July 30) Video provided by AP
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:
from the past week

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