Recent studies of cloud interactions with particulate air pollution, performed mostly on a conceptual level, show that pollution aerosols can invigorate convection into severe storms. The convective storms are defined as severe when they produce at least one of the following phenomena: strong local winds, downbursts, frequent lightning, large hail and tornados. The pollution aerosols can slow the conversion of cloud drops into precipitation, allowing the convective energy to accumulate and eventually tri gger violent storms. The new METEOSAT Second Generation (MSG) geostationary satellite, commissioned in January 2004 by the European Organization for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT), can significantly help identifying in real tim e the impacts of pollution aerosols on cloud structure, and thus potentially provide advanced warning of such events. We propose to use the satellite and ground based observations in conjunction with computer models to distinguish the meteorological and pollution aerosols effects on triggering and invigorating severe convective storms, and hence causing man-made "natural disasters". Such events and their mitigation are not covered by FP6. In addition to fundamental understanding of the anthropogenic role in influencing severe storms, the project will provide the scientific basis to improve the skill of numerical weather prediction (NWP) models to predict such storms. The ultimate challenge may be to develop a method by which severe storm development can b e mitigated, for example by reducing aerosol pollution, or even reverse the effect of the small pollution aerosols by introducing large hygroscopic aerosols that accelerate the early onset of rain. The scientific basis of such a possibility will be evalua ted.
Field of science
- /natural sciences/earth and related environmental sciences/environmental sciences/pollution
- /natural sciences/earth and related environmental sciences/physical geography/natural disaster
- /social sciences/sociology/governance/crisis management
- /engineering and technology/environmental engineering/air pollution engineering
Call for proposal
See other projects for this call