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Study Reveals How Volcanic Eruptions Affect Rainfall over Monsoon Regions

Jul 10, 2019     Email"> PrintText Size

A Chinese study has found how volcanic eruptions at different latitudes affect rainfall over global monsoon regions, providing insights on designing geo-engineering experiments.

Scientists have long known that large volcanic explosions can affect the weather by spewing particles that block solar energy and cool the air.

Abnormal monsoon events may have an impact on social and economic development as the monsoon region is one of the most densely populated regions in the world.

Understanding the impact of volcanic eruptions on the rainfall over global monsoon regions is of great scientific and social importance.

In the new study, after analyzing large data sets of observations and climate model simulation, researchers from the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences and Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences found divergent hydroclimate responses following different volcanic eruptions.

According to the results published in Journal of Climate, the global monsoon precipitation decreased following volcanic eruptions in tropical regions.

After volcanic eruptions in the northern hemisphere, monsoon precipitation decreases in the northern hemisphere but is enhanced in the southern hemisphere. After eruptions in the southern Hemisphere, the change of monsoon precipitation follows the same pattern.

The study also showed that volcanic eruptions have a significant impact on rainfall distribution, water resources and the ecosystem.

Geo-engineering is the deliberate and large-scale intervention in the Earth's climate system, usually with the aim of mitigating the effects of global warming.

One idea is to inject light-reflecting sulfate aerosols into the atmosphere to cool the planet. Large amounts of aerosols can significantly cool the planet, which has been observed after large volcanic eruptions.

According to the researchers, the study indicates that when designing experiments like injecting sulfate aerosols, the impact of injection from different latitudes on monsoon rainfall should be taken into consideration. (Xinhua)

(Editor: CHEN Na)

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