Articles | Volume 17, issue 18
Research article
28 Sep 2017
Research article |  | 28 Sep 2017

Potential impact of carbonaceous aerosol on the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere (UTLS) and precipitation during Asian summer monsoon in a global model simulation

Suvarna Fadnavis, Gayatry Kalita, K. Ravi Kumar, Blaž Gasparini, and Jui-Lin Frank Li

Abstract. Recent satellite observations show efficient vertical transport of Asian pollutants from the surface to the upper-level anticyclone by deep monsoon convection. In this paper, we examine the transport of carbonaceous aerosols, including black carbon (BC) and organic carbon (OC), into the monsoon anticyclone using of ECHAM6-HAM, a global aerosol climate model. Further, we investigate impacts of enhanced (doubled) carbonaceous aerosol emissions on the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere (UTLS), underneath monsoon circulation and precipitation from sensitivity simulations.

The model simulation shows that boundary layer aerosols are transported into the monsoon anticyclone by the strong monsoon convection from the Bay of Bengal, southern slopes of the Himalayas and the South China Sea. Doubling of emissions of both BC and OC aerosols over Southeast Asia (10° S–50° N, 65–155° E) shows that lofted aerosols produce significant warming (0.6–1 K) over the Tibetan Plateau (TP) near 400–200 hPa and instability in the middle/upper troposphere. These aerosols enhance radiative heating rates (0.02–0.03 K day−1) near the tropopause. The enhanced carbonaceous aerosols alter aerosol radiative forcing (RF) at the surface by −4.74 ± 1.42 W m−2, at the top of the atmosphere (TOA) by +0.37 ± 0.26 W m−2 and in the atmosphere by +5.11 ± 0.83 W m−2 over the TP and Indo-Gangetic Plain region (15–35° N, 80–110° E). Atmospheric warming increases vertical velocities and thereby cloud ice in the upper troposphere. Aerosol induced anomalous warming over the TP facilitates the relative strengthening of the monsoon Hadley circulation and increases moisture inflow by strengthening the cross-equatorial monsoon jet. This increases precipitation amounts over India (1–4 mm day−1) and eastern China (0.2–2 mm day−1). These results are significant at the 99 % confidence level.

Short summary
In this study, the model simulations show that monsoon convection over the Bay of Bengal, the South China Sea and southern flanks of the Himalayas transports Asian carbonaceous aerosol into the UTLS. Carbonaceous aerosol induces enhancement in heating rate, vertical velocity and water vapor transport in the UTLS. Doubling of carbonaceous aerosols creates an anomalous warming over the TP. It generates monsoon Hadley circulation and thus increases precipitation over India and northeast China.
Final-revised paper