The United Nations Environment Programme has released “Atmospheric Brown Clouds: Regional Assessment Report with Focus on Asia”. The report says these ‘brown clouds’ arise from the burning of fossil fuels and biomass, and they likely add to the myriad impacts of climate change. While ‘brown clouds’ have been studied intensively over Asia, they arise elsewhere.
Five regional hotspots for ‘brown clouds’ have been identified:
- East Asia, covering eastern China;
- The Indo-Gangetic plains in South Asia from the northwest and northeast regions of eastern Pakistan across India to Bangladesh and Myanmar;
- Southeast Asia, covering Cambodia, Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam;
- Southern Africa extending southwards from sub-Saharan Africa into Angola, Zambia and Zimbabwe; and
- The Amazon Basin in South America.
Impacts in these hotspots include:
- Cities and ‘Dimming’;
- Impact on Cloud Formation and a Further Dimming Effect;
- Masking the Impacts of Climate Change;
- Complex Regional Impacts on Temperature;
- Impacts on Weather Patterns Including the East Asian Monsoon;
- Impact on Glaciers;
- Impacts on Agriculture; and
- Health Impacts of ABCs.