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Will Pollution Reduce Precipitation?

Part of the NATO Science for Peace and Security Series C: Environmental Security book series (NAPSC)


The results of parcel model studies seem to indicate that increasing particulate pollution and decreasing solubility suppresses rain formation. In individual and short time cloud simulations this behaviour was confirmed in our 3D model studies. However, taking into account entire cloud fields over longer periods of time yields the strong spatial and temporal variability of the results with isolated regions of inverse correlation of the effects. Even though in general the expected behaviour was found, after several hours of simulation, the integrated precipitation of the more polluted cases caught up. This suggests that a changing pollution will affect the spatial and temporal pattern of precipitation, but will probably not reduce the overall long term precipitation amount which might be entirely governed by the moisture state of the atmosphere.


  • Clouds
  • Aerosol particles
  • Pollution

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  • DOI: 10.1007/978-94-007-1359-8_92
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Correspondence to Andrea I. Flossmann .

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Flossmann, A.I., Wobrock, W. (2011). Will Pollution Reduce Precipitation?. In: Steyn, D., Trini Castelli, S. (eds) Air Pollution Modeling and its Application XXI. NATO Science for Peace and Security Series C: Environmental Security. Springer, Dordrecht.

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