Study finds that spurt in coal use in Asian countries could weaken monsoon systems.

Effect on Climate

  • Coal burning, primary source of electric power in Asia.

  • Human-made sulphur dioxide (SO2) emissions - drive up concentrations of sulfate aerosols in the atmosphere

  • These aerosols not only endanger public health in the region but also contribute to local and global climate change.

  • The increased aerosol levels would have a large cooling effect throughout the Northern Hemisphere, partially offsetting warming from greenhouse gas emissions (including increased carbon dioxide emissions associated with coal burning).

  • Significant cooling would also be felt especially in South and East Asia

  • Impact of sulfates on clouds - lowers surface temperatures indirectly by increasing the clouds’ reflectivity (reflecting sunlight skyward)