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Science. 2002 Sep 27;297(5590):2250-3.

Climate effects of black carbon aerosols in China and India.

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  • 1NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, New York, NY 10025, USA.


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.

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