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Title: Assessing the Effects of Anthropogenic Aerosols on Pacific Storm Track Using a Multiscale Global Climate Model

Atmospheric aerosols impact weather and global general circulation by modifying cloud and precipitation processes, but the magnitude of cloud adjustment by aerosols remains poorly quantified and represents the largest uncertainty in estimated forcing of climate change. Here we assess the impacts of anthropogenic aerosols on the Pacific storm track using a multi-scale global aerosol-climate model (GCM). Simulations of two aerosol scenarios corresponding to the present day and pre-industrial conditions reveal long-range transport of anthropogenic aerosols across the north Pacific and large resulting changes in the aerosol optical depth, cloud droplet number concentration, and cloud and ice water paths. Shortwave and longwave cloud radiative forcing at the top of atmosphere are changed by - 2.5 and + 1.3 W m-2, respectively, by emission changes from pre-industrial to present day, and an increased cloud-top height indicates invigorated mid-latitude cyclones. The overall increased precipitation and poleward heat transport reflect intensification of the Pacific storm track by anthropogenic aerosols. Hence, this work provides for the first time a global perspective of the impacts of Asian pollution outflows from GCMs. Furthermore, our results suggest that the multi-scale modeling framework is essential in producing the aerosol invigoration effect of deep convective clouds on the global scale.
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Journal Article
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Journal Name: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 111(19):6894–6899
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US)
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Country of Publication:
United States
aerosol-cloud-climate interaction; Asian pollution; multi-scale global climate model