83rd Annual

Monday, 10 February 2003
Conceptual modeling of the climatic role of airborne mineral dust
Karen M. Shell, SIO/Univ. of California, La Jolla, CA; and R. C. J. Somerville
Airborne mineral dust is a significant aerosol component of the atmosphere. This project uses a simple, conceptual model to study the important processes and feedbacks within the dust-climate system.

The simple model consists of a longitudinally averaged atmosphere layer above a surface layer, which is ice-covered if the surface temperature is sufficiently low. Parameterizations of radiative, latent, and sensible heating and cooling, ocean heat transport, the Hadley circulation, and midlatitude eddies are included. The temperature profile determines the distribution of dust. Dust, in turn, can influence the temperature by altering the optical properties of air. The model will be used to gain an understanding of the fundamental properties of the dust-climate system.

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