Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Air pollution over Asia influences global weather and makes Pacific storms more intense

Date:
April 14, 2014
Source:
Texas A&M University
Summary:
In the first study of its kind, scientists have compared air pollution rates from 1850 to 2000 and found that anthropogenic (human-made) particles from Asia impact the Pacific storm track that can influence weather over much of the world.

A snap-shot of cloud water from a simulation of the Pacific storm track.
Credit: NOAA

In the first study of its kind, scientists have compared air pollution rates from 1850 to 2000 and found that anthropogenic (human-made) particles from Asia impact the Pacific storm track that can influence weather over much of the world.

Related Articles


The team, which includes several researchers from Texas A&M University, has had its work published in the current issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

Yuan Wang, Yun Lin, Jiaxi Hu, Bowen Pan, Misti Levy and Renyi Zhang of Texas A&M's Department of Atmospheric Sciences, along with colleagues from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, the University of California at San Diego and NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, contributed to the work.

The team used detailed pollution emission data compiled by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and looked at two scenarios: one for a rate in 1850 -- the pre-Industrial era -- and from 2000, termed present-day.

By comparing the results from an advanced global climate model, the team found that anthropogenic aerosols conclusively impact cloud formations and mid-latitude cyclones associated with the Pacific storm track.

"There appears to be little doubt that these particles from Asia affect storms sweeping across the Pacific and subsequently the weather patterns in North America and the rest of the world," Zhang says of the findings.

"The climate model is quite clear on this point. The aerosols formed by human activities from fast-growing Asian economies do impact storm formation and global air circulation downstream. They tend to make storms deeper and stronger and more intense, and these storms also have more precipitation in them. We believe this is the first time that a study has provided such a global perspective."

In recent years, researchers have learned that atmospheric aerosols affect the climate, either directly by scattering or absorbing solar radiation, and indirectly by altering cloud formations. Increasing levels of such particles have raised concerns because of their potential impacts on regional and global atmospheric circulation.

In addition, Zhang says large amounts of aerosols and their long-term transport from Asia across the Pacific can clearly be seen by satellite images.

The Pacific storm track represents a critical driver in the general global circulation by transporting heat and moisture, the team notes. The transfer of heat and moisture appears to be increased over the storm track downstream, meaning that the Pacific storm track is intensified because of the Asian air pollution outflow.

"Our results support previous findings that show that particles in the air over Asia tend to affect global weather patterns," Zhang adds.

"It shows they can affect the Earth's weather significantly."

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, the Department of Energy, 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, Minghuai Wang, Renyi Zhang, Steven J. Ghan, Yun Lin, Jiaxi Hu, Bowen Pan, Misti Levy, Jonathan H. Jiang, and Mario J. Molina. Assessing the effects of anthropogenic aerosols on Pacific storm track using a multiscale global climate model. PNAS, April 14, 2014 DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1403364111

Cite This Page:

Texas A&M University. "Air pollution over Asia influences global weather and makes Pacific storms more intense." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 April 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140414154412.htm>.
Texas A&M University. (2014, April 14). Air pollution over Asia influences global weather and makes Pacific storms more intense. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140414154412.htm
Texas A&M University. "Air pollution over Asia influences global weather and makes Pacific storms more intense." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140414154412.htm (accessed December 18, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Earth & Climate News

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 18, 2014) The U.S. Navy unveils an underwater device that mimics the movement of a fish. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Arctic Warming Twice As Fast As Rest Of Planet

Arctic Warming Twice As Fast As Rest Of Planet

Newsy (Dec. 18, 2014) The Arctic is warming twice as fast as the rest of the planet, thanks in part to something called feedback. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ivory Trade Boom Swamps Law Efforts

Ivory Trade Boom Swamps Law Efforts

Reuters - Business Video Online (Dec. 17, 2014) Demand for ivory has claimed the lives of tens of thousands of African elephants and now a conservation report says the illegal trade is overwhelming efforts to enforce the law. Amy Pollock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Indictments in West Virginia Chemical Spill Case

Indictments in West Virginia Chemical Spill Case

AP (Dec. 17, 2014) A grand jury indicted four former executives of Freedom Industries, the company at the center of the Jan. 9, 2014 chemical spill in Charleston, West Virginia. The spill contaminated the Elk River and the water supply of 300,000 people. (Dec. 17) 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:

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