Human-generated aerosols from northern hemisphere may affect rainfall patterns in Australia

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Washington, August 27 (ANI): Australian scientists, using a climate model, have suggested that human-generated aerosols from the northern hemisphere may have contributed to increased rainfall in north-western and central Australia, and decreased rainfall in parts of southern Australia.

According to lead researcher, Dr Leon Rotstayn, Principal Research Scientist at the Centre for Australian Weather and Climate Research, a partnership between CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology, "Perhaps surprisingly, inclusion of northern hemisphere aerosols may be important for accurate modelling of Australian climate change."Aerosols come from many different sources.

Sulphur is released when we burn coal and oil. More dust, also an aerosol, circulates in the atmosphere when land is cleared, burned or overgrazed.

Some aerosols occur naturally like sea spray and volcanic emissions, but NASA estimates ten percent of the total aerosols in the atmosphere are caused by people.

Most of this ten percent is in the northern hemisphere.European researchers, attending the international 'Water in a changing climate' science conference in Melbourne from August 24-28, will discuss a new forecasting service that will identify in unprecedented detail where these aerosols are coming from and where they are going.

The new service, part of Europe's Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) initiative, will give global information on how pollutants move around the world across oceans and continents, and will refine estimates of their sources and sinks.

According to Dr Adrian Simmons from the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts, which is coordinating the multi-institution initiative, "The service will give much more detailed forecast information on air quality over Europe and provide the basis for better health advice across Europe and beyond".

The service has clear implications for environmental policy and legislation. (ANI)

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