Meteorology

Air particles boost rain extremes

Journal name:
Nature
Volume:
537,
Page:
282
Date published:
DOI:
doi:10.1038/537282b
Published online

As the climate warms, tiny particles suspended in the atmosphere may have a greater effect than greenhouse gases on increasing the frequency of extreme rain and snowfall.

Greenhouse gases and atmospheric aerosols both drive extreme precipitation, which is expected to increase with climate change. To tease apart the climate effects, Zhili Wang of the Chinese Academy of Meteorological Sciences in Beijing and his colleagues used a global climate model to simulate scenarios with different levels of greenhouse-gas emissions.

They predict that, by the end of the century, aerosols will be two to four times more important than greenhouse gases in boosting precipitation extremes worldwide. Reducing aerosol emissions could help people to alter future climate-change impacts.

Geophys. Res. Lett. http://doi.org/bqdf (2016)

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