EGU24-1229, updated on 08 Mar 2024
EGU General Assembly 2024
© Author(s) 2024. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Absorbing aerosols can strongly enhance extrem precipitation

Guy Dagan1 and Eshkol Eytan2
Guy Dagan and Eshkol Eytan
  • 1Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel (
  • 2Chemical Sciences Laboratory, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Boulder, CO, USA

Understanding the impact of anthropogenic aerosols on extreme precipitation is of both social and scientific significance. While anthropogenic absorbing aerosols are known to influence Earth's energy balance and atmospheric convection, their role in extreme events remains unclear. This study employs convective-resolving radiative-convective-equilibrium simulations to comprehensively investigate the impact of absorbing aerosols on extreme tropical precipitation. Our findings reveal an underappreciated mechanism whereby absorbing aerosols can, under certain conditions, significantly intensify extreme precipitation despite reducing the mean. Notably, we demonstrate that a mechanism previously observed in much warmer (hothouse) climates—where intense rainfall alternates with multi-day dry spells—can manifest under current realistic conditions due to the influence of absorbing aerosols. This mechanism operates when an aerosol perturbation shifts the lower tropospheric radiative heating rate to positive values, generating a strong inhibition layer. Our work underscores an additional potential effect of absorbing aerosols, with implications for climate change mitigation and disaster risk management.

How to cite: Dagan, G. and Eytan, E.: Absorbing aerosols can strongly enhance extrem precipitation, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-1229,, 2024.