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Title: Toward reconciling the influence of atmospheric aerosols and greenhouse gases on light precipitation changes in Eastern China

The attribution of the widely observed shifted precipitation extremes to different forcing agents represents a critical issue for understanding of changes in the hydrological cycle. To compare aerosol and greenhouse-gas effects on the historical trends of precipitation intensity, we performed AMIP-style NCAR/DOE CAM5 model simulations from 1950-2005 with and without anthropogenic aerosol forcings. Precipitation rates at every time step in CAM5 are used to construct precipitation probability distribution functions. By contrasting the two sets of experiments, we found that the global warming induced by the accumulating greenhouse gases is responsible for the changes in precipitation intensity at the global scale. However, regionally over the Eastern China, the drastic increase in anthropogenic aerosols primarily accounts for the observed light precipitation suppression since the 1950s. Compared with aerosol radiative effects, aerosol microphysical effect has a predominant role in determining the historical trends of precipitation intensity in Eastern China.
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Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Journal of Geophysical Research. D. (Atmospheres), 121(10):5878-5887
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US)
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Country of Publication:
United States