More than previously realised, the "Asian haze" of soot is boosting storms in the Pacific, and enhancing the growth of large clouds, which play a key role in regulating climate globally.
How does this happen? According to a new study, water droplets coalesce around the tiny aerosol particles and stay too small to form rain. Under these conditions, clouds may grow bigger and last for longer (via bbc).
In the latest research, Renyl Zhang and his colleagues used satellite records to show that the amount of deep convective clouds over the north Pacific has increased.
Coverage for the period 1994-2005 was between 20% and 50% higher than in the preceding decade.
With increased clouds and increased convection came a growth in storminess over the ocean, and the researchers say impacts may be felt as far away as the Arctic.
While production of industrial aerosols has been curtailed in Europe and North America, the opposite trend is seen in Asia and is especially marked in winter as coal burning increases.
Sulphur emissions have increased by more than one-third over the last decade.
Clouds transport the tiny particles, and more abundant and persistent clouds will transport them further - even to polar regions, Zhang suggests.
Some studies have suggested that accumulation of these particles is changing the properties of Arctic ice, making it absorb more of the Sun's energy.
This would mean the ice is more prone to melting, as well as reducing the Earth's capacity to reflect solar energy back into space.