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Pacific Northwest National Laboratory's 2010 AGU tip sheet
Date:12/10/2010

haran Desert brings copious amounts of dust to African skies. The dust blocks sunlight and leads to more nighttime rainfall and drier days during the monsoon season, according to PNNL climate scientist Chun Zhao. Zhao and colleagues used a regional climate model to examine how West Africa's precipitation and temperatures might differ during the monsoon season if the Sahara didn't produce dust. The hypothetical dust-free scenario had up to 25 percent more rain during the late afternoon than what actually falls. On the flip side, real-world Africa has more rain during the evenings and early mornings. They learned that dust particles in the air partially block sunlight and absorb its heat during the day. In the nighttime, that heat radiates from the sky to the land below, which then warms up the surface and makes conditions ripe for nocturnal precipitation. This knowledge could help predict climate change's future impacts in West Africa and elsewhere. (Contact: Franny White, frances.white@pnl.gov, 509-375-6904.)

A13E-0257: Radiative forcing of Sahara dust and its impacts on the hydrological cycle in the West African monsoon season, Monday, Dec. 13, 2-5 p.m., Poster Hall, Moscone South. http://www.atmos-chem-phys-discuss.net/10/27185/2010/acpd-10-27185-2010.html


STOMP on risk of escaping carbon dioxide
PNNL model could help determine the likelihood of leaks from emissions stored underground

A new reference table may give researchers a way of estimating the likelihood that carbon dioxide emissions stored underground will leak. Scientist Zhangshuan (Jason) Hou and his colleagues at PNNL used the subsurface transport over multiple phases, or STOMP, simulator to develop the table, which takes the form of a simplified equation called the generalized additive model, or GAM. To use the model,
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Contact: Franny White
frances.white@pnl.gov
509-375-6904
DOE/Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Source:Eurekalert

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