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Title: Aerosols and their Impact on Radiation, Clouds, Precipitation & Severe Weather Events

Abstract

Aerosols, the tiny particles suspended in the atmosphere, have been in the forefront of environmental and climate change sciences as the primary atmospheric pollutant and external force affecting Earth’s weather and climate. There are two dominant mechanisms by which aerosols affect weather and climate: aerosol-radiation interactions (ARI) and aerosol-cloud interactions (ACI). ARI arises from aerosol scattering and absorption, which alters the radiation budgets of the atmosphere and surface, while ACI is rooted to the fact that aerosols serve as cloud condensation nuclei and ice nuclei. Both ARI and ACI are coupled with atmospheric dynamics to produce a chain of complex interactions with a large range of meteorological variables that influence both weather and climate. Elaborated here are the impacts of aerosols on the radiation budget, clouds (microphysics, structure, and lifetime), precipitation, and severe weather events (lightning, thunderstorms, hail, and tornados). Depending on environmental variables and aerosol properties, the effects can be both positive and negative, posing the largest uncertainties in the external forcing of the climate system. This has considerably hindered our ability in projecting future climate changes and in doing accurate numerical weather predictions.

Authors:
; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1406799
Report Number(s):
PNNL-SA-124900
KP1703040
DOE Contract Number:  
AC05-76RL01830
Resource Type:
Book
Resource Relation:
Related Information: Oxford Research Encyclopedias: Environmental Science
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
aerosol; radiation; cloud; precipitation; severe weather; lightning; thunderstorm; hurricane; typhoon; tornado

Citation Formats

Li, Zhanqing, Rosenfeld, Daniel, and Fan, Jiwen. Aerosols and their Impact on Radiation, Clouds, Precipitation & Severe Weather Events. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.1093/acrefore/9780199389414.013.126.
Li, Zhanqing, Rosenfeld, Daniel, & Fan, Jiwen. Aerosols and their Impact on Radiation, Clouds, Precipitation & Severe Weather Events. United States. doi:10.1093/acrefore/9780199389414.013.126.
Li, Zhanqing, Rosenfeld, Daniel, and Fan, Jiwen. Fri . "Aerosols and their Impact on Radiation, Clouds, Precipitation & Severe Weather Events". United States. doi:10.1093/acrefore/9780199389414.013.126.
@article{osti_1406799,
title = {Aerosols and their Impact on Radiation, Clouds, Precipitation & Severe Weather Events},
author = {Li, Zhanqing and Rosenfeld, Daniel and Fan, Jiwen},
abstractNote = {Aerosols, the tiny particles suspended in the atmosphere, have been in the forefront of environmental and climate change sciences as the primary atmospheric pollutant and external force affecting Earth’s weather and climate. There are two dominant mechanisms by which aerosols affect weather and climate: aerosol-radiation interactions (ARI) and aerosol-cloud interactions (ACI). ARI arises from aerosol scattering and absorption, which alters the radiation budgets of the atmosphere and surface, while ACI is rooted to the fact that aerosols serve as cloud condensation nuclei and ice nuclei. Both ARI and ACI are coupled with atmospheric dynamics to produce a chain of complex interactions with a large range of meteorological variables that influence both weather and climate. Elaborated here are the impacts of aerosols on the radiation budget, clouds (microphysics, structure, and lifetime), precipitation, and severe weather events (lightning, thunderstorms, hail, and tornados). Depending on environmental variables and aerosol properties, the effects can be both positive and negative, posing the largest uncertainties in the external forcing of the climate system. This has considerably hindered our ability in projecting future climate changes and in doing accurate numerical weather predictions.},
doi = {10.1093/acrefore/9780199389414.013.126},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Fri Sep 22 00:00:00 EDT 2017},
month = {Fri Sep 22 00:00:00 EDT 2017}
}

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