He watches the skies…and pollution

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Do you have questions about weather and pollution for our weather expert? Ask Jon Kahl, and keep your eyes on Science Buzz for the answer!

“Weather and pollution interact in some strange ways. Hopefully, understanding the relationship between pollution and weather will help to reduce pollution in the future.”

There’s no avoiding weather, right? It’s a force of nature humans can’t control. But in the last couple hundred years, humans are affecting the weather through pollution and airborne particles. Jon Kahl, professor of atmospheric science at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, studies how air pollution impacts weather and vice versa.

"Weather and pollution interact in some strange ways,” explains Kahl. “Soot from Canadian forest fires, for example, is turning up in Greenland snow, causing it to darken, absorb more sunlight and melt faster. Winter storms in the southern U.S. carry pollution into southeast Mexico, where they damage archaeological monuments. Hopefully, understanding the relationship between pollution and weather will help to reduce pollution in the future."