Dust aerosol effect on semi-arid climate over Northwest China detected from A-Train satellite measurements 1Key Laboratory for Semi-Arid Climate Change of the Ministry of Education, College of Atmospheric Sciences, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou, 730000, China
2NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA, 23666, USA
3Science Systems and Applications Incorporated, Hampton, VA, 23666, USA
Received: 04 May 2010 – Published in Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss.: 12 May 2010Abstract. The impact of dust aerosols on the semi-arid climate of Northwest China is
analyzed by comparing aerosol and cloud properties derived over the China
semi-arid region (hereafter, CSR) and the United States semi-arid region
(hereafter, USR) using several years of surface and A-Train satellite
observations during active dust event seasons. These regions have similar
climatic conditions, but aerosol concentrations are greater over the CSR.
Because the CSR is close to two major dust source regions (Taklamakan and
Gobi deserts), the aerosols over the CSR not only contain local
anthropogenic aerosols (agricultural dust, black carbon and other
anthropogenic aerosols), but also include natural dust transported from the
source regions. The aerosol optical depth, averaged over a 3-month period,
derived from MODIS for the CSR is 0.27, which is 47% higher than that
over the USR (0.19). Although transported natural dust only accounts for
53% of this difference, it is a major contributor to the average
absorbing aerosol index, which is 27% higher in the CSR (1.07) than in
the USR (0.84). During dust event periods, liquid water cloud particle size,
optical depth and liquid water path are smaller by 9%, 30% and 33%
compared to dust-free conditions, respectively.
Revised: 16 Jul 2010 – Accepted: 17 Jul 2010 – Published: 23 Jul 2010
Citation: Huang, J., Minnis, P., Yan, H., Yi, Y., Chen, B., Zhang, L., and Ayers, J. K.: Dust aerosol effect on semi-arid climate over Northwest China detected from A-Train satellite measurements, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 10, 6863-6872, doi:10.5194/acp-10-6863-2010, 2010.