Makin’ it Rain

Fascinating paper in GRL suggesting that the massive Three Gorges Dam in China is making rain more in the mountains to the west, and rain less in the area of the dam itself:

The independent satellite data sets and numerical simulation clearly indicate that the land use change associated with the TGD construction has increased the precipitation in the region between Daba and Qinling mountains and reduced the precipitation in the vicinity of the TGD after the TGD water level abruptly rose from 66 to 135 m in June 2003. This study suggests that the climatic effect of the TGD is on the regional scale (~100 km) rather than on the local scale (~10 km) as projected in previous studies.

This is another example of the importance of the sort of land use change effect that Roger Pielke Sr. is always on about.

Wu et al., Three Gorges Dam affects regional precipitation, GRL, Vol. 33, L13806, doi:10.1029/2006GL026780, 20