Cities across Asia are getting dimmer and the impact of brown clouds on glaciers, agriculture and the monsoon are even clearer as reported in a new document recently released by the UNEP – Atmospheric Brown Clouds: Regional Assessment Report with Focus on Asia.

Cities from Beijing to New Delhi are getting darker, glaciers in ranges like the Himalayas are melting faster and weather systems becoming more extreme, in part due to the combined effects of human-made Atmospheric Brown Clouds (ABCs) and greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Around 13 megacities have so far been identified as ABC hotpots, including Bangkok, Beijing, Cairo, Dhaka, Karachi, Kolkata, Lagos, Mumbai, New Delhi, Seoul, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Tehran.

The brown clouds are the result of burning of fossil fuels and biomass. ABCs lead to the formation of particles like black carbon and soot that absorb sunlight and heat the air; and gases such as ozone. Globally, brown clouds may be countering or 'masking' the warming impacts of climate change by anything from 20% to 80 %, the research suggests. This is because of particles such as sulfates and some organics that reflect sunlight and cool the surface.

“I expect the Atmospheric Brown Cloud to be now firmly on the international community's radar as a result of the report,” said Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary General and Executive Director, UN Environment Programme (UNEP).

Atmospheric Brown Clouds: Regional Assessment Report with Focus on Asia: www. unep. org

Via:www.greenmuze. соm

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