From New Scientist:
BELCHING chimneys and cars in China are making the skies dry up. Smoke particles are changing the behaviour of the atmosphere and preventing raindrops from forming.
Chunsheng Zhao from Peking University in Beijing and his colleagues studied 40 years’ worth of rainfall records along with six years’ satellite measurements of aerosol particles. Between 1961 and 2000 they saw a decrease in rainfall of up to 0.4 per cent per year over eastern central China. The six years for which there is satellite data show a strong correlation between the lower rainfall and an increase in aerosol particles (Geophysical Research Letters, DOI: 10.1029/2006GL025959). [Full Text]
See also a report in the Syndey Morning Herald by Keith Bradsher and David Barboza”“China’s toxic brew hits its neighbours”“on the wider geographic consequences of China’s pollution, including the observation that sulpher from Chinese factories (temporarily) cools the atmosphere.