Asian pollution climatically modulates mid-latitude cyclones following hierarchical modelling and observational analysis. Academic Article uri icon


  • Increasing levels of anthropogenic aerosols in Asia have raised considerable concern regarding its potential impact on the global atmosphere, but the magnitude of the associated climate forcing remains to be quantified. Here, using a novel hierarchical modelling approach and observational analysis, we demonstrate modulated mid-latitude cyclones by Asian pollution over the past three decades. Regional and seasonal simulations using a cloud-resolving model show that Asian pollution invigorates winter cyclones over the northwest Pacific, increasing precipitation by 7% and net cloud radiative forcing by 1.0 W m(-2) at the top of the atmosphere and by 1.7 W m(-2) at the Earth's surface. A global climate model incorporating the diabatic heating anomalies from Asian pollution produces a 9% enhanced transient eddy meridional heat flux and reconciles a decadal variation of mid-latitude cyclones derived from the Reanalysis data. Our results unambiguously reveal a large impact of the Asian pollutant outflows on the global general circulation and climate.

published proceedings

  • Nat Commun

altmetric score

  • 99.454

author list (cited authors)

  • Wang, Y., Zhang, R., & Saravanan, R.

citation count

  • 153

complete list of authors

  • Wang, Yuan||Zhang, Renyi||Saravanan, R

publication date

  • January 2014