Sensitivity study of meteorological parameters on mineral aerosol mobilization, transport, and distribution

Authors

  • Chao Luo,

    1. Institute for Computational Earth Systems Science, University of California, Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, California, USA
    2. Also at National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado, USA.
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  • Natalie M. Mahowald,

    1. Institute for Computational Earth Systems Science, University of California, Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, California, USA
    2. Also at National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado, USA.
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  • John del Corral

    1. Institute for Computational Earth Systems Science, University of California, Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, California, USA
    2. Now at Earth Institute of Columbia University, Palisades, New York, USA.
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Abstract

[1] Predicting mineral aerosol distributions is a difficult task due to the episodic nature of the sources and transport. Here we show comparisons between a 22-year simulation of mineral aerosols and satellite and in situ observations. Our results suggest that the model does a good job of predicting atmospheric mineral aerosol distributions, with some discrepancies. In addition, there are differences between our model results and previously published results [e.g., Ginoux et al., 2001]. We conduct several tests of the sensitivity of mineral aerosol simulations to the meteorological data sets and mobilization parameterizations in order to understand the differences. Comparisons between model simulations using National Center for Atmospheric Research/National Center for Environmental Prediction (NCEP/NCAR) and National Aeronautics and Space Administration Data Assimilation Office (NASA DAO) reanalysis data sets show that the model results with the two data sets are fairly consistent but with some important differences. The sensitivity analysis shows that differences between simulated dust near Australia are likely due to differences in both source parameterization and surface winds. Differences over East Asia are dominated by differences in meteorology. The sensitivity analysis also shows that we cannot tell from comparisons with observations whether the cultivation source is active nor eliminate it because of the large uncertainty in meteorology and source parameterization.

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