Suppression of Rain and Snow by Urban and Industrial Air Pollution

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Science  10 Mar 2000:
Vol. 287, Issue 5459, pp. 1793-1796
DOI: 10.1126/science.287.5459.1793

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Direct evidence demonstrates that urban and industrial air pollution can completely shut off precipitation from clouds that have temperatures at their tops of about –10°C over large areas. Satellite data reveal plumes of reduced cloud particle size and suppressed precipitation originating from major urban areas and from industrial facilities such as power plants. Measurements obtained by the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission satellite reveal that both cloud droplet coalescence and ice precipitation formation are inhibited in polluted clouds.

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