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Exploring Aerosol Effects on Rainfall for Brisbane, Australia


The majority of studies assessing aerosol effects on rainfall use coarse spatial scale (1° latitude/longitude or more) and multi-seasonal or decadal data sets. Here, we present results from a spatial correlation of aerosol size distribution and rain rate for selected stratiform and cumuliform precipitation events. The chemistry transport version of the Weather Research and Forecasting model was used to estimate aerosol parameters during rain events Aerosol maps were then compared with observations of rainfall using geostatistics for the first time. The cross-variogram analysis showed that anthropogenic aerosol was associated with areas of less intense rain within the stratiform system studied. For cumuliform systems, cross-variogram analysis found that anthropogenic emissions may be associated with enhanced rain downwind of aerosol emissions. We conclude that geostatistics provides a promising new technique to investigate relationships between aerosols and rainfall at spatial scales of 1 km which complements more commonly used methods to study aerosol effects on rainfall.

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