Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Texas A&M study proves pollution from China And India affecting world's weather

07.03.2007
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.

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."

Keith Randall | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.tamu.edu

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Bioinvasion on the rise
15.02.2017 | Universität Konstanz

nachricht Litter Levels in the Depths of the Arctic are On the Rise
10.02.2017 | Alfred-Wegener-Institut, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Start codons in DNA may be more numerous than previously thought

21.02.2017 | Life Sciences

An alternative to opioids? Compound from marine snail is potent pain reliever

21.02.2017 | Life Sciences

Warming ponds could accelerate climate change

21.02.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>