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AGU: Geophysical Research Letters



  • carbon aerosol climate impact

Index Terms

  • 1605 - Abrupt/rapid climate change

Paper in Press


Potential impact of Asian carbon aerosols on future US warming

Key Points
  • Asian black carbon aerosol can enhance US warming by changing the circulation


Haiyan Teng

Warren M. M Washington

Grant Branstator

Gerald A. Meehl

Jean-Francois Lamarque

This study uses an atmosphere-ocean fully coupled climate model to investigate possible remote impacts of Asian carbonaceous aerosols on US climate change. We took a 21st century mitigation scenario as a reference, and carried out three sets of sensitivity experiments in which the prescribed carbonaceous aerosol concentrations over a selected Asian domain are increased by a factor of two, six, and ten respectively during the period of 2005-2024. The resulting enhancement of atmospheric solar absorption (only the direct effect of aerosols is included) over Asia induces tropospheric heating anomalies that force large-scale circulation changes which, averaged over the twenty-year period, add as much as an additional 0.4C warming over the eastern US during winter and over most of the US during summer. Such remote impacts are confirmed by an atmosphere stand-alone experiment with specified heating anomalies over Asia that represent the direct effect of the carbon aerosols.

Received 16 March 2012; accepted 13 May 2012.

Citation: Teng, H., W. M. M. Washington, G. Branstator, G. A. Meehl, and J.-F. Lamarque (2012), Potential impact of Asian carbon aerosols on future US warming, Geophys. Res. Lett., doi:10.1029/2012GL051723, in press.