Articles | Volume 18, issue 16
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 18, 12531–12550, 2018
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-18-12531-2018
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 18, 12531–12550, 2018
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-18-12531-2018

Research article 29 Aug 2018

Research article | 29 Aug 2018

Aerosol as a potential factor to control the increasing torrential rain events in urban areas over the last decades

Seoung Soo Lee1, Byung-Gon Kim2, Zhanqing Li1, Yong-Sang Choi3, Chang-Hoon Jung4, Junshik Um5, Jungbin Mok1, and Kyong-Hwan Seo5 Seoung Soo Lee et al.
  • 1Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center, University of Maryland, Maryland
  • 2Department of Atmospheric Environmental Sciences, Gangneung–Wonju National University, Gangneung, Gang-Won do, South Korea
  • 3Department of Environmental Science and Engineering, Ewha Womans University, Seoul, South Korea
  • 4Department of Health Management, Kyungin Women's University, Incheon, South Korea
  • 5Department of Atmospheric Sciences, Division of Earth Environmental System, Pusan National University, Busan, South Korea

Abstract. This study examines the role played by aerosol in torrential rain that occurred in the Seoul area, which is a conurbation area where urbanization has been rapid in the last few decades, using cloud-system-resolving model (CSRM) simulations. The model results show that the spatial variability in aerosol concentrations causes the inhomogeneity of the spatial distribution of evaporative cooling and the intensity of associated outflow around the surface. This inhomogeneity generates a strong convergence field in which torrential rain forms. With the increases in the variability in aerosol concentrations, the occurrence of torrential rain increases. This study finds that the effects of the increases in the variability play a much more important role in the increases in torrential rain than the much-studied effects of the increases in aerosol loading. Results in this study demonstrate that for a better understanding of extreme weather events such as torrential rain in urban areas, not only changing aerosol loading but also changing aerosol spatial distribution since industrialization should be considered in aerosol–precipitation interactions.

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