1Key Laboratory for Semi-Arid Climate Change of the Ministry of Education, College of Atmospheric Sciences, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou, 730000, China
2Department of Atmosphere Science, University of Washington, USA
3NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA, 23666, USA
4Science Systems and Applications Inc., Hampton, VA 23666, USA
5Gansu Meteorological Bureau, Lanzhou, 73000 China
Abstract. The dust aerosol radiative forcing and heating rate over the Taklimakan Desert in Northwestern China in July 2006 are estimated using the Fu-Liou radiative transfer model along with satellite observations. The vertical distributions of the dust aerosol extinction coefficient are derived from the CALIPSO (Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observations) lidar measurements. The CERES (Cloud and the Earth's Energy Budget Scanner) measurements of reflected solar radiation are used to constrain the dust aerosol type in the radiative transfer model, which determines the dust aerosol single-scattering albedo and asymmetry factor as well as the aerosol optical properties' spectral dependencies. We find that the dust aerosols have a significant impact on the radiative energy budget over the Taklimakan desert. In the atmospheres containing light, moderate and heavy dust layers, the dust aerosols heat the atmosphere (daily mean) by up to 1, 2, and 3 K day−1, respectively. The maximum daily mean radiative heating rate reaches 5.5 K day−1 at 5 km on 29 July. The averaged daily mean net radiative effect of the dust are 44.4, −41.9, and 86.3 W m−2, respectively, at the top of the atmosphere (TOA), surface, and in the atmosphere. Among these effects about two thirds of the warming effect at the TOA is related to the longwave radiation, while about 90% of the atmospheric warming is contributed by the solar radiation. At the surface, about one third of the dust solar radiative cooling effect is compensated by its longwave warming effect. The large modifications of radiative energy budget by the dust aerosols over Taklimakan Desert should have important implications for the atmospheric circulation and regional climate, topics for future investigations.