Influence of the latitudinal temperature gradient on soil dust concentration and deposition in Greenland


  • Ina Tegen,

  • David Rind


To investigate the effects of changes in the latitudinal temperature gradient and the global mean temperature on dust concentration in the Northern Hemisphere, experiments with the GISS GCM are performed. The dust concentration over Greenland is calculated from sources in central and eastern Asia, which are integrated on-line in the model. The results show that an increase in the latitudinal temperature gradient increases both the Asian dust source strength and the concentration over Greenland. The source increase is the result of increased surface winds, and to a minor extent, the increase in Greenland dust is also associated with increased northward transport. Cooling the climate in addition to this increased gradient leads to a decrease in precipitation scavenging, which helps produce a further (slight) increase in Greenland dust in this experiment. Reducing the latitudinal gradient reduces the surface wind and hence the dust source, with a subsequent reduction in Greenland dust concentrations. Warming the climate in addition to this reduced gradient leads to a further reduction in Greenland dust due to enhanced precipitation scavenging. These results can be used to evaluate the relationship of Greenland ice core temperature changes to changes in the latitudinal and global temperatures.