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https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2019-393
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2019-393
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 11 Mar 2020

Submitted as: research article | 11 Mar 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal ACP.

Modulation of surface sensible heating over the Tibetan Plateau on the interannual variability of East Asian dust cycle

Xiaoning Xie1,2, Anmin Duan3, Zhengguo Shi1, Xinzhou Li1, Hui Sun1, Xiaodong Liu1,4, Xugeng Cheng5, Tianliang Zhao5, Huizheng Che6, and Yangang Liu7 Xiaoning Xie et al.
  • 1SKLLQG, Institute of Earth Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xi'an 710061, China
  • 2CAS Center for Excellence in Quaternary Science and Global Change, Xi'an 710061, China
  • 3LASG, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100029, China
  • 4University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • 5Key Laboratory for Aerosol-Cloud-Precipitation of China Meteorological Administration, Nanjing University of Science Information & Technology, Nanjing 210044, China
  • 6Key Laboratory for Atmospheric Chemistry, Institute of Atmospheric Composition, Chinese Academy of Meteorological Sciences, CMA, Beijing 100081, China
  • 7Environmental and Climate Sciences Department, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, NY 11973-5000, USA

Abstract. Previous observational evidence and numerical simulations have revealed that the surface sensible heating in MAM (March–April–May) over the Tibetan Plateau (TPSH) can affect the Asian regional hydrological cycle, surface energy balance, and climate through altering atmospheric heat source of the Tibetan Plateau (TP). This study aims to investigate the impacts of MAM TPSH on the interannual variability of East Asian dust cycle by use of CAM4-BAM (version 4 of the Community Atmosphere Model coupled to a bulk aerosol model), the MERRA-2 (version 2 of the Modern Era Retrospective-Analysis for Research and Applications) surface dust concentration, and TPSH measurements. Our simulations show that the surface dust concentrations over the East Asian dust source region (EA) and over the northwestern Pacific (NP) in MAM are significantly positively correlated with TPSH, with regionally averaged correlation coefficients of 0.49 for EA and 0.44 for NP. Similar positive correlations are also shown to exist between the MAM TPSH measurements averaged over the 73 observation sites and the surface dust concentration from MERRA-2. Simulation-based comparisons between strongest and weakest TPSH years reveal that, the MAM surface dust concentration in the strongest TPSH years increases with relative differences of 13.1 % over EA and 36.9 % over NP. These corresponding differences are found in MERRA-2 with 22.9 % and 13.3 % over EA and NP, respectively. Further simulated results show that the processes of whole dust cycles (e.g., dust loading, emission, and transport, as well as dust depositions) are also significantly enhanced during the strongest TPSH yeas over EA and NP. Through enhancing the TP heat source, stronger TPSH in MAM generates an anticyclonic anomaly in middle and upper troposphere over TP and over the downstream Pacific region, respectively. These atmospheric circulation anomalies induced by the increased TPSH result in increasing the westerly winds over both EA and NP, which in turn increases dust emissions over the dust source, and dust transports over these two regions, as well as the regional dust cycles. These results suggest that addressing the East Asian dust changes in the future climates require considering not only increasing greenhouse gas emissions but also the variations of the TP's heat source under global warming.

Xiaoning Xie et al.

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Short summary
Observational and modeling results both show that the surface dust concentrations over the East Asian dust source region (EA) and over the northwestern Pacific (NP) in MAM are significantly positively correlated with TPSH. These atmospheric circulation anomalies induced by the increased TPSH result in increasing the westerly winds over both EA and NP, which in turn increases dust emissions over the dust source, and dust transports over these two regions, as well as the regional dust cycles.
Observational and modeling results both show that the surface dust concentrations over the East...
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