Modeling study on the transport of summer dust and anthropogenic aerosols over the Tibetan Plateau
Abstract. The Tibetan Plateau (TP) is located at the juncture of several important natural and anthropogenic aerosol sources. Satellites have observed substantial dust and anthropogenic aerosols in the atmosphere during summer over the TP. These aerosols have distinct effects on the earth's energy balance, microphysical cloud properties, and precipitation rates. To investigate the transport of summer dust and anthropogenic aerosols over the TP, we combined the Spectral Radiation-Transport Model for Aerosol Species (SPRINTARS) with a non-hydrostatic regional model (NHM). The model simulation shows heavily loaded dust aerosols over the northern slope and anthropogenic aerosols over the southern slope and the east of the TP. The dust aerosols are primarily mobilized around the Taklimakan Desert, where a portion of the aerosols are transported eastward due to the northwesterly current; simultaneously, a portion of the particles are transported southward when a second northwesterly current becomes northeasterly because of the topographic blocking of the northern slope of the TP. Because of the strong upward current, dust plumes can extend upward to approximately 7–8 km a.s.l. over the northern slope of the TP. When a dust event occurs, anthropogenic aerosols that entrained into the southwesterly current via the Indian summer monsoon are transported from India to the southern slope of the TP. Simultaneously, a large amount of anthropogenic aerosol is also transported from eastern China to the east of the TP by easterly winds. An investigation on the transport of dust and anthropogenic aerosols over the plateau may provide the basis for determining aerosol impacts on summer monsoons and climate systems.