A new study just released says what happens in Asia doesn’t stay in Asia (well, pollution anyway). Atmospheric scientists from Texas A&M University are finding that pollution from booming economies in Asia and the Far East is causing more powerful storms over the Pacific Ocean, changing the weather for North Americans.
Renyi Zhang, a professor at the university, stated, “It’s almost certain that weather in the U.S. is changing.” This is a result of stronger cyclones, more precipitation, and faster movement of heat from the tropics toward the North Pole, all caused from pollution from Asia. The types of disruptions we can expect as a result are increased flooding and droughts throughout the U.S.
Aerosols, which are simply fine particles in the air such as sea salt, have a direct effect on weather. However, human-made aerosols in the Far East such as sulfates emitted primarily by coal-fired power plants are now increasingly outnumbering natural ones, leading to severe weather changes. Aerosols absorb sunlight in the atmosphere having both warming and cooling effects on climate, while also affecting the formation of clouds.
Using a simulator, scientists have confirmed that these human-made aerosols are spreading across the Pacific and causing storms to be more vigorous than they would be otherwise. The storms have more ice and a larger “anvil” shape to the clouds. They are also increasing the flow of heat from the equatorial region toward the arctic, contributing to global warming. More research is currently being done to determine more specifics to the change in weather in North America. Read more about these weather changes from National Geographic which you can access HERE!