Articles | Volume 12, issue 15
Research article
01 Aug 2012
Research article |  | 01 Aug 2012

Simulation of mineral dust aerosol with Piecewise Log-normal Approximation (PLA) in CanAM4-PAM

Y. Peng, K. von Salzen, and J. Li

Abstract. A new size-resolved dust scheme based on the numerical method of piecewise log-normal approximation (PLA) was developed and implemented in the fourth generation of the Canadian Atmospheric Global Climate Model with the PLA Aerosol Model (CanAM4-PAM). The total simulated annual global dust emission is 2500 Tg yr−1, and the dust mass load is 19.3 Tg for year 2000. Both are consistent with estimates from other models. Results from simulations are compared with multiple surface measurements near and away from dust source regions, validating the generation, transport and deposition of dust in the model. Most discrepancies between model results and surface measurements are due to unresolved aerosol processes. Biases in long-range transport are also contributing. Radiative properties of dust aerosol are derived from approximated parameters in two size modes using Mie theory. The simulated aerosol optical depth (AOD) is compared with satellite and surface remote sensing measurements and shows general agreement in terms of the dust distribution around sources. The model yields a dust AOD of 0.042 and dust aerosol direct radiative forcing (ADRF) of −1.24 W m−2 respectively, which show good consistency with model estimates from other studies.

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