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      Impact of aerosols on convective clouds and precipitation : AEROSOL IMPACT ON CONVECTIVE CLOUDS

      , , , ,
      Reviews of Geophysics
      American Geophysical Union (AGU)

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          Aerosols, climate, and the hydrological cycle.

          Human activities are releasing tiny particles (aerosols) into the atmosphere. These human-made aerosols enhance scattering and absorption of solar radiation. They also produce brighter clouds that are less efficient at releasing precipitation. These in turn lead to large reductions in the amount of solar irradiance reaching Earth's surface, a corresponding increase in solar heating of the atmosphere, changes in the atmospheric temperature structure, suppression of rainfall, and less efficient removal of pollutants. These aerosol effects can lead to a weaker hydrological cycle, which connects directly to availability and quality of fresh water, a major environmental issue of the 21st century.
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            Global indirect aerosol effects: a review

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              Flood or drought: how do aerosols affect precipitation?

              Aerosols serve as cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) and thus have a substantial effect on cloud properties and the initiation of precipitation. Large concentrations of human-made aerosols have been reported to both decrease and increase rainfall as a result of their radiative and CCN activities. At one extreme, pristine tropical clouds with low CCN concentrations rain out too quickly to mature into long-lived clouds. On the other hand, heavily polluted clouds evaporate much of their water before precipitation can occur, if they can form at all given the reduced surface heating resulting from the aerosol haze layer. We propose a conceptual model that explains this apparent dichotomy.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Reviews of Geophysics
                Rev. Geophys.
                American Geophysical Union (AGU)
                87551209
                June 2012
                June 2012
                : 50
                : 2
                Article
                10.1029/2011RG000369
                7187aad7-825a-4cd0-9e5a-2477032f9b1a
                © 2012

                http://doi.wiley.com/10.1002/tdm_license_1.1

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