Sunday, January 15, 2012

Aerosol particle increase linked to more rainfall

Nina Chestney in Reuters: A rise in the atmosphere of aerosols - miniscule particles which include soot, dust and sulphates - has led to more rainfall in certain parts of the world and could provide vital clues for future climate predictions, a scientific study shows. A deeper understanding of rainfall patterns would aid scientists' ability to predict changing trends in the climate.

Aerosols can be produced from burning coal or gas, industrial and agricultural processes or by the burning of forests. As well as being harmful for human health, they are blamed for causing air pollution such as smog and smoke.

"For a range of conditions, increases in aerosol abundance are associated with the local intensification of rain rates," said the study published in Nature Geoscience by scientists from Israel's Weizmann Institute, NASA, and other institutions.

"The relationship is apparent over both the ocean and land, and in the tropics, sub-tropics and mid-latitudes," it added, which would include large parts of continents such as Africa, South America and Asia....

A late May shower in 2006 heads in towards Dockray along Matterdale, shot by Bob Danylec, Wikimedia Commons via Geograph UK, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license

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