Articles | Volume 20, issue 21
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 20, 12955–12982, 2020
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-20-12955-2020

Special issue: Dust aerosol measurements, modeling and multidisciplinary...

Atmos. Chem. Phys., 20, 12955–12982, 2020
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-20-12955-2020

Research article 05 Nov 2020

Research article | 05 Nov 2020

Models transport Saharan dust too low in the atmosphere: a comparison of the MetUM and CAMS forecasts with observations

Debbie O'Sullivan et al.

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Cited articles

Adebiyi, A. A. and Kok, J. F.: Climate models miss most of the coarse dust in the atmosphere, Sci. Adv., 6, eaaz9507, https://doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.aaz9507, 2020. 
Ansmann, A., Petzold, A., Kandler, K., Tegen, I., Wendisch, M., Müller, D., Weinzierl, B., Müller, T., and Heintzenberg, J.: Saharan Mineral Dust Experiments SAMUM-1 and SAMUM-2: what have we learned?, Tellus B, 63, 403–429, 2011. 
Ansmann, A., Rittmeister, F., Engelmann, R., Basart, S., Jorba, O., Spyrou, C., Remy, S., Skupin, A., Baars, H., Seifert, P., Senf, F., and Kanitz, T.: Profiling of Saharan dust from the Caribbean to western Africa – Part 2: Shipborne lidar measurements versus forecasts, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 17, 14987–15006, https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-17-14987-2017, 2017. 
Balkanski, Y., Schulz, M., Claquin, T., and Guibert, S.: Reevaluation of Mineral aerosol radiative forcings suggests a better agreement with satellite and AERONET data, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 7, 81–95, https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-7-81-2007, 2007. 
Benedetti, A., Morcrette, J.-J., Boucher, O., Dethof, A., Engelen, R. J., Fisher, M., Flentje, H., Huneeus, N., Jones, L., Kaiser, J. W., Kinne, S., Mangold, A., Razinger, M., Simmons, A. J., and Suttie, M.: Aerosol analysis and forecast in the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts Integrated Forecast System: 2. Data assimilation, J. Geophys. Res.-Atmos., 114, D13, https://doi.org/10.1029/2008JD011115, 2009. 
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Short summary
Mineral dust is an important component of the climate system, and we assess how well it is predicted by two operational models. We flew an aircraft in the dust layers in the eastern Atlantic, and we also make use of satellites. We show that models predict the dust layer too low and that it predicts the particles to be too small. We believe that these discrepancies may be overcome if models can be constrained with operational observations of dust vertical and size-resolved distribution.
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