Affiliations: 4Go to article
Burning biomass moves the Asian monsoon
© Bart Brouwer/EyeEm/Getty
Aerosols released from burning biofuels could make Asia’s summer rains fall earlier and further south.
Brown carbon aerosols released from burning biomass absorb sunlight. This cools the surface below and warms the atmosphere, which can influence regional climate. A team led by researchers from the Institute for Basic Science in South Korea used climate observations and atmospheric models to simulate the role of brown carbon on monsoon rains across Asia. Their model suggests that organic aerosols, released from biomass burnt in Southeast Asia during March and April, bring monsoon rains to India earlier than usual. In East Asia, organic aerosols gathering to the north block incoming sunlight, which cools the surface. This stabilizes the air and shifts the summer rain southwards.
Measuring aerosols in the pre-monsoon months could help predict seasonal rainfall patterns across Asia, the researchers say.
- Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres 123, 2244–2255 (2018). doi: 10.1002/2017JD027642