19 Nov 2020

19 Nov 2020

Review status: a revised version of this preprint was accepted for the journal ACP and is expected to appear here in due course.

Evaluation of natural aerosols in CRESCENDO-ESMs: Mineral Dust

Ramiro Checa-Garcia1, Yves Balkanski1, Samuel Albani8, Tommi Bergman5, Ken Carslaw2, Anne Cozic1, Chris Dearden10, Beatrice Marticorena3, Martine Michou4, Twan van Noije5, Pierre Nabat4, Fionna O'Connor7, Dirk Olivié6, Joseph M. Prospero9, Philippe Le Sager5, Michael Schulz6, and Catherine Scott2 Ramiro Checa-Garcia et al.
  • 1Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l’Environnement, CEA-CNRS-UVSQ, IPSL, Gif-sur-Yvette, France
  • 2Institute for Climate & Atmospheric Science, School of Earth & Environment, University of Leeds, United Kingdom
  • 3LISA, Universités Est-Paris & Diderot-Paris, France
  • 4CNRM, Université de Toulouse, Météo-France, CNRS, Toulouse, France
  • 5Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute, De Bilt, Netherlands
  • 6Norwegian Meteorological Institute, Oslo, Norway
  • 7Met Office Hadley Centre in Exeter, United Kingdom
  • 8Department of Environmental & Earth Sciences, University of Milano-Bicocca, Italy
  • 9Department of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Miami, USA
  • 10Centre for Environmental Modelling & Computation (CEMAC), School of Earth & Environment, University of Leeds, UK

Abstract. This paper presents an analysis of the mineral dust aerosol modelled by five Earth System Models (ESM) within the Coordinated Research in Earth Systems and Climate: Experiments, kNowledge, Dissemination and Outreach (CRESCENDO) project. We quantify the global dust cycle described by each model in terms of global emissions together with dry and wet depositions, reporting large differences in ratio of dry over wet deposition across the models not directly correlated with the range of particle sizes emitted. The multi-model mean dust emissions was 2954 Tg yr−1 but with a large uncertainty due mainly to the difference in maximum dust particle size emitted. For the subset of ESMs without particles larger than 10 μm we obtained 1664 (σ = 650) Tg yr−1. Total dust emissions with identical nudged winds from reanalysis give us better consistency between models with 1530 (σ = 282) Tg yr−1. Significant discrepancies in the globally averaged dust mass extinction efficiency explain why even models with relatively similar dust load global budgets can display strong differences in dust optical depths. The comparison against observations has been done in terms of dust optical depths based on MODIS satellite products, showing a global consistency in terms of preferential dust sources and transport across the Atlantic. However, we found regional and seasonal differences between models and observations when we quantified the cross-correlation of time-series over dust emitting regions. To faithfully compare local emissions between models we introduce a re-gridded normalization method, that also can be compared with satellite products derived from dust events frequencies. Dust total depositions are compared with instrumental network to assess global and regional differences. We found that models agree with observations distant from dust sources within a factor 10, but the approximations of dust particle size distribution at emission contributed to a misrepresentation of the actual range of deposition values when instruments are close to dust emitting regions. The observational dust surface concentrations also are reproduced within a factor 10. The comparison of total aerosol optical depths with AERONETv3 stations where dust is dominant shows large differences between models, however with an increase of the inter-model consistency when the simulations are conducted with nudged-winds. The increase of the model ensemble consistency also means a better agreement with observations, which we have ascertained for dust total deposition, surface concentrations and optical depths (against both AERONETv3 and MODIS-DOD retrievals). We estimated the direct radiative effects of a multi-modal representation of the dust particle size distribution that includes the largest particles measured at FENNEC experiment. We introduced a method to ascertain the contributions per mode consistent with the multimodal direct radiative effects.

Ramiro Checa-Garcia et al.

Status: closed
Status: closed
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
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Status: closed
Status: closed
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
Printer-friendly Version - Printer-friendly version Supplement - Supplement

Ramiro Checa-Garcia et al.

Model code and software

FunFAN: set of functions for aerosols studies Ramiro Checa-Garcia

Ramiro Checa-Garcia et al.


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Short summary
Thousands of tons of dust are emitted into the atmosphere every year producing important impacts on the Earth system. However, the current global climate models are not yet able to reproduce dust emissions, transport and depositions with the desirable accuracy. Our study analyses 5 different Earth-System-Models to report those aspects to be improved to reproduce better available observations and increase the consistency between models and therefore decrease the current uncertainties.