Human-Generated Aerosols May Be Masking the Warming Effect of Climate Change

Photo: Steelflow

We've discussed how Australia has been experiencing new extremes of weather. A dry, hot, bushfire ravaged south and a rainfall flooded north. And how these extremes may be the product of climate change.

Now scientists at Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) have thrown another spanner in the works. They reckon a pollution haze from human-generated aerosols in Asia is reshaping rainfall patterns in Australia. Whilst apparently long known to exert a cooling effect on climate, human-generated aerosols have partly masked the warming effect of increasing greenhouse gases. As aerosol pollution is predicted to decrease over the next few decades, unmasking of the greenhouse effect may lead to accelerated global warming.storms and ocean plankton The human-generated aerosols are derived from industry, motor vehicles and vegetation burning.

CSIRO's Dr Leon Rotstayn said that further research into how aerosols are influencing climate and rainfall patterns across Australia is critical to scientists' ability to more accurately predict the longer-term effects of climate change.

"Recent climate modelling at CSIRO shows that there may be important effects on Australian climate due to aerosol pollution from the Northern Hemisphere. These include an increase of rainfall in north-western Australia, and an increase of air pressure over southern Australia, which may have contributed to less rainfall there."

::CSIRO, via EcoMedia

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PS. we did look out for a pic of clear aerosol gases, but such photos seem in short supply, so opted to just use a generic aerosol can to represent this post.

Tags: Asia | Australia | Chemicals | Pollution

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