Earth  ID: 20011

Pollution Reduces Winter Precipitation

In winter, moist air flows off the ocean and rises over the hills downwind of a coastal city, dropping its rain and snow mainly as it ascends the hills. As pollution from the city is pushed into the clouds by the hills downwind of the city, it interferes with droplet formation in the clouds as observed by NASA's satellites. The smaller cloud droplets convert more slowly into precipitation. Instead of precipitating, much of the water in the clouds evaporates, reducing the net rainfall downwind of the urban area by up to 15% to 25% on a seasonal basis. First is the unpolluted case.

Animation Credits

Susan Twardy (HTSI): Lead Animator
Daniel Rosenfeld (Hebrew University): Scientist
Kathryn A. Stofer: Writer
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NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Conceptual Image Lab

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SVS >> Byrne
SVS >> Coastal City
SVS >> Gonnelli
SVS >> Pollution
SVS >> Rainfall
SVS >> Urban
SVS >> Winter
GCMD >> Earth Science
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Atmosphere >> Precipitation
NASA Science >> Earth

GCMD keywords can be found on the Internet with the following citation: Olsen, L.M., G. Major, K. Shein, J. Scialdone, S. Ritz, T. Stevens, M. Morahan, A. Aleman, R. Vogel, S. Leicester, H. Weir, M. Meaux, S. Grebas, C.Solomon, M. Holland, T. Northcutt, R. A. Restrepo, R. Bilodeau, 2013. NASA/Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Earth Science Keywords. Version