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Effects of Anthropogenic Aerosol Particles on California Climate
Presentation by Professor Mark Jacobson

Place: Hearing Room A
California Energy Commission

1516 Ninth Street, Sacramento
Time: October 28, 2004
1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Audio from this meeting will be webcast on the Internet.


"Climate Change Scenarios for California: Overall PIER Strategy and Perspective," Guido Franco, California Energy Commission PIER Program. Presentation October 28, 2004. On line 10/28/04. (Adobe Acrobat PDF file, 7 pages 64 kilobytes)

"The Effects of Aerosols on California and South Coast Climate," Mark Z. Jacobson, Dept. of Civil & Environmental Engineering, Stanford University. Presentation to California Energy Commission, October 28, 2004. On line 10/28/04. (Adobe Acrobat PDF file, 50 pages 3.2 megabytes, note file size)

Prof. Mark Jacobson from Stanford University will give an informal presentation regarding exploratory research he has conducted for the Public Interest Energy Research (PIER) Program on the role of aerosols on climate in California. Please consider attending this important and informative presentation.

The role of aerosols on global and regional climate is not very well understood. Some aerosols such as sulfates tend to cool the Earth reflecting sunlight away from our planet. Black carbon, on the other hand, could warm the atmosphere due to its strong solar radiation absorption characteristic, while, at the same time, reducing the amount of solar radiation reaching the surface of the Earth. As you may know, PIER will be producing probabilistic climate scenarios for California to allow a serious examination of the potential impacts and adaptation options available for California. Before we move forward with this work, however, we are conducting a series of preparatory studies. The work by Prof. Jacobson is one of these studies.

According to the modeling work conducted by Prof. Jacobson "the feedback of aerosol particles locally to the movement of surface high and low air pressure centers, and the subsequent feedback of pressure changes to cloud formation and dissipation was found to have an effect on climate that rivaled the local effects of particles themselves." In addition, Prof. Jacobson's preliminary results support the hypothesis that aerosols are seriously affecting precipitation levels (snow) in the Sierra Nevada. If further studies confirm these findings, aerosols, together with climate change, may severely affect the ability to supply water for a growing population in the state.

This work is the first regional modeling study looking at the effect of aerosols on regional climate in the United States and the first to suggest that aerosols are affecting precipitation levels in the Sierra Nevada.

The draft agenda for this meeting is as follows:

1:00 p.m. Welcome and Introductions - Kelly Birkinshaw, PIER-EA
1:05 - 1:15 Overall PIER Strategy and Perspective - Guido Franco, PIER-EA
1:15 - 2:30 Effects of Anthropogenic Aerosol Particles and their Precursor Gases on California and South Coast Climate -- Mark Jacobson, Stanford University

For more information please contact:
Guido Franco 916-654-3940; gfranco@energy.state.ca.us

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