Impact of Chinese Urbanization and Aerosol Emissions on the East Asian Summer Monsoon

Impacts of urbanization and anthropogenic aerosols in China on the East Asian summer monsoon (EASM) are investigated using the Community Atmosphere Model (CAM5.1) by comparing simulations with and without incorporating urban land cover and/or anthropogenic aerosol emissions. Results show that the increase of urban land cover causes large surface warming and an urban frictional drag, both leading to a northeasterly wind anomaly in the lower troposphere over East China (EC). This weakens the southerly winds associated with the EASM and causes a convergence anomaly in southern China (SC) with increased ascent, latent heating and cloudiness. The enhanced latent heating reinforces surface convergence and upper-level divergence over SC, leading to more northward advection in the upper-level into northern China (NC) and descending between 30°N and 50°N over East Asia. Cloudiness reduction, adiabatic heating and warm advection over NC all enhance the urban heating there, together causing anomalous tropospheric warming at those latitudes over East Asia. Anthropogenic aerosols cause widespread cooling at the surface and in the troposphere over EC, which decreases the summer land-ocean thermal contrast, leading to a weakened EASM circulation with reduced moisture transport to NC. This results in wetter and drier conditions over SC and NC, respectively. When both the urbanization and anthropogenic aerosols are included in the model, aerosols’ cooling is partially offset by the urban heating, and their joint effect on the circulation is dominated by the aerosols’ effect with a reduced magnitude. In the combined experiment, surface and tropospheric temperatures are also altered by the decrease (increase) in cloudiness over NC (SC) with most of the cooling confined to SC, which further weakens the EASM circulation.



This article is culled from daily press coverage from around the world. It is posted on the Urban Gateway by way of keeping all users informed about matters of interest. The opinion expressed in this article is that of the author and in no way reflects the opinion of UN-Habitat.

Zhihong Jiang, Fei Huo, Hongyun Ma

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