The effects of absorbing aerosols and greenhouse gases on tropical precipitation

The effects of absorbing aerosols and greenhouse gases on tropical precipitation

Event Type: 

  • Seminar




18 October, 2019 - 16:00 to 17:00

About the Event: 

Greenhouse gases and absorbing aerosols warm the climate system by absorbing radiation. At the same time, aerosol particles also have the potential to significantly alter cloud microphysics. This talk explores the implications of the radiative and microphysical perturbations on the probability distribution of tropical rainfall, tropical cyclones, as well as cold surges over the Maritime Continent.

The main findings are as follows:

  1. Using idealized cloud-resolving simulations, we expect atmospheric heating to reduce mean precipitation on fast time scales (days to months) mainly through reducing weak, rather than strong, precipitation events. 
  2. Using a global climate model capable of resolving tropical cyclones, we find that free-tropospheric black carbon is much more effective than boundary layer black carbon in altering TC statistics. The atmospheric heating of BC leads to larger reductions in TC intensity as compared to carbon dioxide.
  3. Cold surge precipitation over the Maritime Continent is expected to increase under surface warming.

The physical understanding obtained by the combination of theory and models will guide policymakers in planning for rainfall under a changing climate.

About the Speaker: 

Xin Rong

Xin Rong obtained her B.Sc (Applied Mathematics) from the National University of Singapore in 2014 and her PhD in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences from Princeton University in 2019. Her research interests include rainfall extremes, aerosol-cloud interactions and tropical climate.

11 Oct 2019

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