9.5 Radiative forcing of Sahara dust and its impacts on the hydrological cycle in the West African monsoon system

Thursday, 27 January 2011: 4:45 PM
3A (Washington State Convention Center)
Chun Zhao, PNNL, Richland, WA; and X. Liu, R. Leung, and S. M. Hagos

The WRF-Chem model is applied to simulate the radiative forcing of dust and its impacts on the hydrological cycle during the monsoon season over West Africa (WA). The GOCART dust emission scheme is coupled into two aerosol models (MADE/SORGAM and MOSAIC) in WRF-Chem. During the monsoon season, dust is a dominant contributor to AOD near the dust source regions. Dust heats the atmosphere, and warms the surface in the nighttime through trapping the longwave radiation but cools the surface in the daytime through reducing the shortwave radiation. Dust modifies the surface energy budget through changing radiation, latent heat, and sensible heat fluxes, and results in large surface cooling effect in the afternoon but warming effect in the early morning during the monsoon season over WA. In the standard model configuration, the dust effect on total daily precipitation is small in both strong and weak monsoon years, but is sensitive to the dust absorbing properties. On the other hand, the dust-driven change of the stability of atmosphere significantly reduces the diurnal variation of precipitation during the monsoon season over WA, and improves the model simulation when compared to available observations.
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