Simulation study shows that atmosphere warms when pollution

Simulation study shows that atmosphere warms when pollution

Simulation study shows that atmosphere warms when
pollution intensifies storms
Objective

Investigate how pollution interacts with storm clouds
and the impacts on the large-scale circulation and
radiative forcing.

Research

Used high-resolution, cloud-resolving model to
simulate two different types of storm systems at a
regional scale: warm summer thunderstorms in
southeastern China and cool, windy frontal systems on
the Great Plains of Oklahoma.
Found that for warm summer thunderstorms, pollution
led to stronger storms with larger anvils, enhanced
regional convergence and strong atmospheric
warming.
The springtime frontal clouds did not have a similarly
significant warming effect. Also, increasing the wind
speed in the summer clouds dampened the aerosol
invigoration and led to less warming.

Impact

For the first time, show enhanced regional circulation
and strong warming effect on the atmosphere through
pollution-thunderstorm interactions.
Facilitate parameterization development of aerosol
deep-convection interactions in the climate model.
1

CESD Overview

Simulated SW, LW, and net radiative forcing of
aerosol indirect effect at the TOA, atmosphere, and
the surface for warm summer storm system. Values
in red are for the stronger wind shear condition. Very
strong warming at TOA and in the atmosphere is
seen mainly due to trap more heat from LW radiation.
Increasing wind shear dampens the invigoration by
aerosols and lead to less warming.

Fan J, D Rosenfeld, Y Ding, LR Leung, and Z Li, 2012,
Potential Aerosol Indirect Effects on Atmospheric Circulation
and Radiative Forcing through Deep Convection, Geophys.
Res. Lett. 39, L09806, DOI 10.1029/2012GL051851.

Department of Energy Office of Science Biological and Environmental Research

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