An improved model for mineral dust emission (Invited Presentation)

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Wednesday, 7 January 2015: 10:30 AM
223 (Phoenix Convention Center - West and North Buildings)
Jasper F. Kok, University of California, Los Angeles, CA; and N. M. Mahowald, G. Fratini, J. Gillies, M. Ishizuka, J. Leys, M. Mikami, S. U. Park, M. S. Park, R. S. Van Pelt, and T. Zobeck

Simulations of the global dust cycle and its interactions with a changing Earth system are hindered by the empirical nature of dust emission parameterizations in weather and climate models. Here we take a step towards improving dust cycle simulations by presenting a physically-based dust emission model. The resulting dust flux parameterization depends only on the wind friction speed and the soil's threshold friction speed, and can therefore be readily implemented into weather and climate models. Moreover, it accounts for two processes missing from most current parameterizations: the increased scaling of the dust flux with the wind speed as the soil becomes less erodible, and a soil's reduced ability to produce dust under saltation bombardment as the soil becomes less erodible. We show that our parameterization's functional form is supported by a compilation of quality-controlled vertical dust flux measurements, and that our parameterization better reproduces these measurements than existing parameterizations.