每日英語跟讀 Ep.K377: Research Ties Aerosol Levels To Frequency Of Hurricanes
Global warming can affect hurricanes, in part because a warmer ocean provides more energy to fuel them. But it is not the only factor in play: A study confirms that, for the frequency of hurricanes, the
effects of particulate air pollution are even greater.
Over the past four decades, the new research shows, the decline in pollution in the form of tiny aerosol particles from transportation, energy production and industry in North America and Europe was responsible for the increased numbers of hurricanes and other tropical cyclones in the North Atlantic.
Over the same period, increasing pollution from the growing economies of India and China had the opposite effect, reducing hurricane activity in the western North Pacific, the study found.
A growing body of research has shown links between tropical cyclones and global warming.
The new study looked at the numbers, not the strength, of these kinds of storms. Its author, Hiroyuki Murakami, said it shows that reducing or increasing anthropogenic aerosols “is the most important component” affecting frequency.
In recent decades, aerosol pollution has declined, perhaps by as much as 50%, in North America and Europe as a result of laws and regulations that reduce emissions from sources like vehicles and power plants. Hurricane seasons in the North Atlantic over roughly the same period have been more active, with a greater number of storms, than in previous decades.
In the North Atlantic, Murakami found, the decline in aerosols led to warming that had two effects on tropical cyclones. First, less pollution resulted in more ocean warming, which meant there was more
energy for storms to form.
The pollution decline led to warming of the land as well, and the combined warming affected atmospheric circulation, weakening winds in the upper atmosphere. That in turn led to less wind shear, the changes in wind speed and direction that can affect how cyclonic storms develop. Less wind shear meant that storms formed more readily.
Murakami’s simulations showed a different mechanism at work in the Pacific. There, he found, increasing aerosol pollution, largely from China and India, led to cooling of the land surface. This reduced the temperature difference between the land and ocean, weakening the monsoonal winds that develop there. That, in turn, led to fewer tropical cyclones, including typhoons, the Pacific equivalent of hurricanes.
村上的模擬顯示，在太平洋有一種不同的機制在運作。他發現，主要來自大陸和印度日漸增加的氣膠汙染，使地表降溫。這減少了陸地與海洋的溫差，削弱了在當地發展的季風，因此導致熱帶氣旋變少，包括在太平洋地區等同於颶風的颱風。Source article: https://udn.com/news/story/6904/6329093