92nd American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting (January 22-26, 2012)

Wednesday, 25 January 2012: 5:00 PM
Quantification of the Impacts of Asian Pollution on Pacific Storm Track
Room 244 (New Orleans Convention Center )
Yuan Wang, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX; and R. Zhang, R. Saravanan, and G. Li

Atmospheric aerosols have profound impacts on climate through substantial contribution to radiative forcing. Indirectly aerosols may influence climate by altering cloud development, lifetime, albedo, and precipitation efficiency. Current scientific understanding of the aerosol indirect effect remains highly uncertain, constituting the greatest uncertainty in climate prediction (+0.8/-1.5 Wm-2). Increasing pollution levels in Asia and associated outflows have raised considerable concerns because of their potential impact on regional and global climate. The principal component analysis of NCEP reanalysis data about meridional heat flux and wind variance exhibits a strengthening trend of the storm track intensity over the northwest (NW) Pacific from 1980 to the present. The cloud-resolving Weather Research and Forecasting (CR-WRF) model with a two-moment bulk microphysical scheme has been used to conduct a two-month numerical simulation of the NW Pacific storm track. Model results have been validated with satellite measurement and other observation data. Sensitivity studies of the aerosol effect on the Pacific storm track mainly consider two aerosol scenarios, including maritime clean case and the polluted case with Asian pollution outflow. Comparative analysis between the two cases suggests that because of favorable cloud dynamical and microphysical conditions, the wintertime NW Pacific may be highly vulnerable to the aerosol-cloud interaction in terms of enhanced cloud optical thickness, increased precipitation and strengthened convection with high aerosol concentrations. As the quantification index of the Pacific storm track intensity, the poleward heat flux increase by 7% under high aerosol loading, supporting the notion that the storm track can be intensified by anthropogenic pollution from the Asian continent. In addition, about 10% decrease of the poleward moisture is found in the polluted case implying the variation of the Pacific storm track under the influence of Asian pollution outflow likely impacts the global general circulation.

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