3 years ago

Simulation of African dust properties and radiative effects during the 2015 SHADOW campaign in Senegal

The aim of this work is to estimate optical and radiative properties of dust aerosols and their potential feedbacks on atmospheric properties over Western Africa for the period 20 March–28 April 2015, by using numerical simulations and different sets of remote-sensing and in-situ measurements. Comparisons of simulations made by the on-line coupled meteorological-chemistry model WRF-CHEM with MODIS, AERONET and in-situ observations result in a general agreement for the spatio-temporal variations of aerosol extinction at both local and regional scales. Simulated SSA reached elevated values between 0.88 and 0.96 along the visible/near-infrared in close agreement with AERONET inversions, suggesting the predominance of dust over Western Africa during this specific period. This predominance of dust is confirmed by in-situ measurements of the aerosol size distribution, fitting well with the aerosols size distribution simulated by WRF-CHEM. The impact of this large dust load on the radiative fluxes leads to large modifications of the shortwave and longwave radiative budget both at the ground and at the top of the atmosphere. In return, the response of the atmosphere to these dust-induced radiative changes is the alteration of the surface air temperature and wind fields, with non-negligible impact on the dust emission and transport.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S0169809517303046

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