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Climate Effects of Black Carbon Aerosols in China and India

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Science  27 Sep 2002:
Vol. 297, Issue 5590, pp. 2250-2253
DOI: 10.1126/science.1075159

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Abstract

In recent decades, there has been a tendency toward increased summer floods in south China, increased drought in north China, and moderate cooling in China and India while most of the world has been warming. We used a global climate model to investigate possible aerosol contributions to these trends. We found precipitation and temperature changes in the model that were comparable to those observed if the aerosols included a large proportion of absorbing black carbon (“soot”), similar to observed amounts. Absorbing aerosols heat the air, alter regional atmospheric stability and vertical motions, and affect the large-scale circulation and hydrologic cycle with significant regional climate effects.

  • * To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: smenon{at}giss.nasa.gov

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