Monday, 24 January 2011: 5:15 PM
3A (Washington State Convention Center)
Western Africa is one of the largest sources of mineral dust aerosol in the world. With uncertainty of how dust impacts on weather and climate, the trans-Atlantic Aerosols and Ocean Science Expeditions (AEROSE) are good opportunities to address this issue. Recent studies have suggested that the Saharan air layer (SAL) can alter the dynamics, microphysics and thermodynamics of tropical systems (e.g., Dunion and Velden 2004), cools the sea surface temperature (e.g., Lau and Kim 2007), suppress deep convection (e.g., Mapes and Zuidema 1996; Wong and Dessler 2005), and alter the radiation balance of the atmosphere (e.g., Slingo et al. 2006). AEROSE constitutes a comprehensive approach, in terms of both measurements and modeling, for gaining understanding of the impacts of long-range transport of mineral dust in the tropical Atlantic (Morris et al. 2006; Nalli et al. 2010). Sounding data from AEROSE shows a well-maintained and static stability of the SAL well across the Atlantic (Nalli et al. 2005). Results of the current study may shed light on the role of dust on the thermodynamics of the SAL and its impact on sea surface temperature. This work will involve using radiative transfer models for calculating total heating rates during heavy dusty days encountered during AEROSE campaigns and analysis of the physical properties of the aerosols.
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