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How Extreme Apparitions of the Anthropogenic West African Aerosol Plume cause Drought in the Iberian Peninsula, Floods in the U.K. and Ireland and higher winter temperatures in Northern Europe. First Attribution and Mechanism using data from the Terra Satellite, Last Millennium Ensemble, and the MERRA-2 and NCEP/NCAR Reanalyses.
  • Keith Alan Potts
Keith Alan Potts
Kyna Keju Pty Ltd

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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The literature, Inter Governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the USA Climate Change Science Program suggest that aerosols can affect the large-scale atmospheric circulation and hydrologic cycle I therefore examine the relationship between aerosols and Iberian droughts, floods in the UK/Ireland and higher European winter temperatures. Aerosols exist mainly as eight continental scale plumes which typically, but not exclusively, exist for a few months in the tropics at the end of the local dry season when biomass burning can occur. The anthropogenic West African aerosol Plume (WAP) exists from late December to early April and is located in the region which drives the northern regional Hadley Circulation towards Europe. It is therefore the prime candidate for investigation into European, winter climate variability. Using the Last Millennium Ensemble (1,156 years and 13,872 months of data) and the MERRA-2 reanalysis (40 years of data) I show that drought in the Iberian Peninsula, floods in the UK/Ireland and higher winter temperatures in northern Europe are created by extreme apparitions of the anthropogenic WAP. The WAP creates these effects by Aerosol Regional Dimming (ARD), which, by altering the surface radiation budget under the plume and warming the upper atmosphere, forces the regional Hadley Circulation into an abnormal seasonal position. These effects alter the regional atmospheric circulation systems and hydrologic cycle in Europe thereby causing drought, floods and higher temperatures and, as the WAP has intensified over recent decades, created climate change.