Can aerosol loading explain the solar dimming over the Tibetan Plateau?
Article first published online: 24 OCT 2012
©2012. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.
Geophysical Research Letters
Volume 39, Issue 20, 28 October 2012
How to Cite
2012), Can aerosol loading explain the solar dimming over the Tibetan Plateau?, Geophys. Res. Lett., 39, L20710, doi:10.1029/2012GL053733., , , , , and (
- Issue published online: 24 OCT 2012
- Article first published online: 24 OCT 2012
- Manuscript Accepted: 26 SEP 2012
- Manuscript Received: 17 SEP 2012
- deep cloud cover;
- solar dimming;
- total cloud cover;
- water vapor
 Solar radiation over the Tibetan Plateau has declined over recent three decades, whereas total cloud cover has a decreasing trend. A likely explanation to this paradox is the increase in aerosols over this clean region. However, this study shows that the radiation extinction due to aerosol loading is of one order lower in magnitude than the observed dimming, and the solar dimming is also seen in a satellite product that was produced without considering temporal variations of aerosols. Instead, the inter-annual variability and decadal change in solar radiation is contrasting to that in water vapor amount and deep cloud cover (but not total cloud cover). Therefore, we suggest that the solar dimming over the Plateau is mainly due to the increase in water vapor amount and deep cloud cover, which in turn are related to the rapid warming and the increase in convective available potential energy.