Articles | Volume 16, issue 5
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-16-3563-2016
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-16-3563-2016
Research article
 | 
17 Mar 2016
Research article |  | 17 Mar 2016

The contrasting roles of water and dust in controlling daily variations in radiative heating of the summertime Saharan heat low

John H. Marsham, Douglas J. Parker, Martin C. Todd, Jamie R. Banks, Helen E. Brindley, Luis Garcia-Carreras, Alexander J. Roberts, and Claire L. Ryder

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Short summary
The roles of water, clouds and airborne dust in controlling the heating of the Sahara are uncertain, which has major implications for the West African monsoon. Observations from the Fennec project, with satellite data, show that total atmospheric water content provides a far stronger control on total radiative heating than dust does, but dust provides the stronger control on surface heating. Therefore major heating errors in global models are likely due to known errors in water transport.
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