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Volume 17, issue 22
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 17, 13731–13745, 2017
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-17-13731-2017
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 17, 13731–13745, 2017
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-17-13731-2017
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research article 17 Nov 2017

Research article | 17 Nov 2017

Direct radiative effects of dust aerosols emitted from the Tibetan Plateau on the East Asian summer monsoon – a regional climate model simulation

Hui Sun1, Xiaodong Liu1,2, and Zaitao Pan3,4 Hui Sun et al.
  • 1SKLLQG, Institute of Earth Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xi'an, 710061, China
  • 2CAS Center for Excellence in Tibetan Plateau Earth Sciences, Beijing, 100101, China
  • 3Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Saint Louis University, St. Louis, Missouri, MO 63108, USA
  • 4Key Laboratory of Meteorological Disaster, Ministry of Education, Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology, Nanjing, Jiangsu, China

Abstract. While dust aerosols emitted from major Asian sources such as Taklimakan and Gobi deserts have been shown to have strong effect on Asian monsoon and climate, the role of dust emitted from Tibetan Plateau (TP) itself, where aerosols can directly interact with the TP heat pump because of their physical proximity both in location and elevation, has not been examined. This study uses the dust-coupled RegCM4.1 regional climate model (RCM) to simulate the spatiotemporal distribution of dust aerosols originating within the TP and their radiative effects on the East Asian summer monsoon (EASM) during both heavy and light dust years. Two 20-year simulations with and without the dust emission from TP showed that direct radiative cooling in the mid-troposphere induced by the TP locally produced dust aerosols resulted in an overall anticyclonic circulation anomaly in the low troposphere centered over the TP region. The northeasterly anomaly in the EASM region reduces its strength considerably. The simulations found a significant negative correlation between the TP column dust load produced by local emissions and the corresponding anomaly in the EASM index (r = −0.46). The locally generated TP dust can cause surface cooling far downstream in Bohai Gulf and the China–North Korea border area through stationary Rossby wave propagation. Although dust from within TP (mainly Qaidam Basin) is a relatively small portion of total Asian aerosols, its impacts on Asian monsoon and climate seems disproportionately large, likely owning to its higher elevation within TP itself.

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This study simulated the distribution of dust aerosols originating within the Tibetan Plateau (TP) and their radiative effects on the East Asian summer monsoon (EASM). The results showed that direct radiative cooling in the mid-troposphere induced by the TP locally produced dust aerosols resulted in the weakening of the EASM. Although contribution to the total Asian dust source from within TP is relatively small, its impacts on Asian monsoon and climate seems disproportionately large.
This study simulated the distribution of dust aerosols originating within the Tibetan Plateau...
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