Current Understandings of the Impacts of Anthropogenic Aerosols on the South Asia Monsoons

Friday, 19 December 2014: 8:45 AM
Chien Wang, MIT, Cambridge, MA, United States
Anthropogenic aerosols can affect the radiative balance of the climate system and precipitation by acting as cloud condensation nuclei or ice nuclei, i.e., through the microphysical effect, and thus modifying the optical and microphysical properties as well as lifetimes of clouds. On the other hand, recent studies have also suggested that the direct and indirect radiative effects of anthropogenic aerosols can perturb the large-scale circulation and cause significant changes in cloud cover and precipitation including those associated with the monsoon systems through the so-called dynamical path. Studies focused on these aerosol effects on the monsoons have formed an active research direction. Despite advancement in research, disagreement regarding the forcing mechanisms through which aerosols particularly absorbing aerosols and aerosol-cloud interaction affect the monsoons still exists. This presentation will summarize recent results achieved from aerosol-climate modeling studies regarding the aerosol forcing and response specifically of the South Asia monsoons. Hypotheses about the forcing mechanisms will also be described and commented.