People of Northwest Public Radio
Mon April 21, 2014
Climate Model Shows Pollution In Asia Influences Weather Worldwide
Pollution in Asia can influence weather over much of the world. Those are the findings from a new climate study from northwest researchers, who teamed up with researchers from Texas.
Tiny particles from coal smoke stacks float up in the air. That pollution, known as aerosols, makes clouds bigger and brighter.
Researchers from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and Texas A&M University developed a new type of climate model to study these clouds on a global scale.
Steve Ghan is with the lab in Richland, Wash.
“Downstream from Asia, we found significant intensification of storms because of the aerosol particles,” Ghan said.
He says the pollution makes clouds brighter. That reflects heat away from the Earth.
There could be an unintended consequence of cracking down on air pollution from China’s smoke stacks.
That would make those clouds darker. Darker clouds reflect less heat. And that, Ghan says, could actually increase global warming effects.
Copyright 2014 Northwest News Network