Research Highlights

Impacts of long-range transport of aerosols

Wang et al. [2020, ACP] utilized the ACE-ENA aircraft campaign data in combination of aerosol reanalysis data to examine the significance of long-range transported aerosol effect on marine boundary layer clouds. A series of aerosol-aware large-eddy simulations were conducted to quantify the cloud susceptibility to aerosols from long-range transport or local sources.

Impact of Cloud Ice Particle Size on Climate Change

Ice particle size is pivotal to determining ice cloud radiative effect and precipitating rate. Wang et al. [2020, JGR-Atmo] presents a modeling assessment of the climatic effects of ice particle size and finds that both climate mean state and climate sensitivity are subject to cloud ice particle size. A 33% reduction in Rei uncertainty by a proposed satellite mission concept would lead to reductions in climate sensitivity and mean state uncertainty by 60%.

Dust Effects on Hurricanes

We show significant impacts of Saharan dust on the radiative budget, hydrological cycle, and large-scale environments relevant to tropical cyclone activity over the Atlantic, by imposing temperature inversion, reducing surface solar radiation, and suppressing hurricane [Pan et al., 2018, J. Clim.].

Anthropogenic Aerosol Impacts on Sea Ice

Wang et al. [2018, J. Clim.] employed a fully coupled climate model to explore effects of man-made aerosols on historical and future variations of the Arctic sea ice in comparison with the GHG forcing. Aerosol-induced cloud forcing and subsequent feedback processes are found critical.

Black Carbon Radiative Forcing

Wang et al. [2018, JAMES] constrained BC aging parameterizations in CAM5-MAM4 using smoke chamber experiments in Beijing and Houston. The calibrated model shows that coating by other types of aerosols results in net enhancement in BC radiative forcing in spite of a reduction in BC lifetime.

Stratospheric Water Vapor and Surface Temperature

As an important greenhouse gas, water vapor has great potential to modulate global climate by altering the infrared opacity of the atmosphere. Wang et al. [2017, Clim. Dyns.] assess the interactions between stratospheric water vapor and surface temperature using satellite observations and the coupled CESM. Sensitivity experiments show that SWV follows closely with tropical SST on the seasonal time scale, and the response of global mean surface temperature to SWV perturbations over the extratropics is larger than that over the tropics.

Attribution of Extreme Precipitation in China

To reconcile the influence of aerosols and greenhouse gases on precipitation extremes, Wang et al. [2016, JGR] implemented an in-situ diagnostics of precipitation PDF in CAM5. A series of model simulations suggested aerosols primarily account for the light precipitation suppression in Eastern China. GHG mainly enhance tropical precipitation extremes via dynamical pathways.

Atmospheric responses to the redistributionof anthropogenic aerosols

Our CAM5 experiment contrasting aerosol scenarios in 1970 and 2010 shows that the altered cloud reflectivity and solar extinction by aerosols results in regional surface temperature cooling in East and South Asia, and warming in the US and Europe, respectively. More interesting, a reduced meridional streamfunction over the tropics and a poleward shift of the jet stream suggest weakened and expanded tropical circulations under the recent aerosol forcing.

Asian Air Pollution Boosts Pacific storms

Increasing levels of air pollutants in Asia have recently drawn considerable attention, but the effects of Asian pollution outflows on regional climate and global atmospheric circulation remain to be quantified. Using multiscale models, Wang et al., [2014, Nat. Commu.] demonstrated that aerosol particles during the long-range transport of the Asian pollution seed convective clouds over the Northwest Pacific, energize the winter storms by releasing additional latent heat, and increase precipitation and poleward heat transport. Our work provides for the first time a global multiscale perspective of the climatic effects of pollution outflows from Asia.

Atmospheric Particles Enlarge Hurricane Precipitation

Long-term observations have revealed large amplitude fluctuations in the frequency and intensity of tropical cyclones, but the anthropogenic impacts, including greenhouse gases and particulate matter pollution, remain to be elucidated. Our model simulations imply that anthropogenic aerosols delay and weakens the development of tropical cyclones, and exhibit an opposite effect to that of greenhouse gases. Our research highlight the necessity of incorporating a realistic microphysical–radiative interaction of aerosols for accurate forecasting and climatic prediction of tropical cyclones in atmospheric models. Wang et a., [2014, Nat. Clim. Change].

Light Absorbing Aerosols Regulate Atmospheric Stability

Wang et al. [2013, AE] elaborated that it is imperative to investigate the formation and transformation of light absorbing aerosols and their optical and cloud-forming properties and to assess their impacts on air quality, weather, and climate. In particular, considering the complicated atmospheric conditions, i.e., the aerosol mixing state, the diverse cloud types, and the altitude of the aerosol layer relative to clouds, the responses of cloud macro and micro properties to absorbing aerosols need to be fully assessed on both cloud-resolving and global scales.

Haze, Thunderstorm and Lightning

We studied the impact of anthropogenic aerosols serving as cloud condensation nuclei on thunderstorms and lightning activities in Southern China. We analyzed the 7-year surface measurements of precipitation, lightning flashes, and visibility to show that heavy preciptation amount and lighting flashes are positively correlated with aerosol concentrations. Cloud-resolving model simulations with the TAMU cloud microphysics we developed reveal the mechanism of the aerosol invigoration effects on deep convective clouds in the humid condition.