Investigating the Climatic Impacts of Globally Shifted Anthropogenic Emissions
Tuesday, 16 December 2014: 8:45 AM
With a quasi-exponential growth in industrialization since the mid-1990s, Asia has undergone a dramatic increase in anthropogenic emissions of aerosol and precursor gases to the atmosphere. Meanwhile, such emissions have been stabilized or reduced over North America and Europe. This geographical shift of global emission sources could potentially perturb the regional and global climate due to impact of aerosols on cloud properties, precipitation, and large-scale circulation. We use an atmospheric general circulation model (AGCM) with different aerosol scenarios to investigate the radiative and microphysical effects of anthropogenic aerosols on the large-scale circulation and regional climate over the globe. We conduct experiments to simulate the continental shift of aerosol distribution by contrasting two simulations using 1970 and 2010 anthropogenic emission sources. We found the elevation of aerosol concentrations in East and South Asia results in regional surface temperature cooling of −0.10° to −0.17°C, respectively, due to the enhanced solar extinction by aerosols and cloud reflectivity. The reduction of the local aerosol loadings in Europe causes a significant warming of +0.4°C. However, despite recent decreasing in aerosol emission, North America shows a cooling of −0.13°C, likely caused by increasing of cloudiness under the influence of modulated general circulation. These aerosol induced temperature changes are consistent with the observed temperature trends from 1980 to 2013 in the reanalysis data. Our study also predicts weaker East/South Asia summer monsoons due to strong regional aerosol forcing. Moreover, the ascending motion in the northern tropics is found to be weakened by asymmetrical aerosol forcing, resulting in the cross-equatorial shift of Hadley Circulation.