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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2019-412
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2019-412
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 06 May 2019

Research article | 06 May 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP).

Modelling the aerosol chemical composition of the tropopause over the Tibetan Plateau during the Asian summer monsoon

Jianzhong Ma1, Christoph Brühl2, Qianshan He3, Benedikt Steil2, Vlassis A. Karydis4, Klaus Klingmüller2, Holger Tost5, Bin Chen6, Yufang Jin6, Ningwei Liu1, Xiangde Xu1, Peng Yan7, Xiuji Zhou1, Kamal Abdelrahman8, Andrea Pozzer2, and Jos Lelieveld2,9 Jianzhong Ma et al.
  • 1State Key Laboratory of Severe Weather & CMA Key Laboratory of Atmospheric Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Meteorological Sciences, Beijing, 100081, China
  • 2Atmospheric Chemistry Department, Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, P.O. Box 3060, Mainz, Germany
  • 3Shanghai Meteorological Service, Shanghai, 201199, Germany
  • 4Forschungszentrum Jülich, Institute for Energy and Climate Research, IEK-8, Jülich, Germany
  • 5Institute for Atmospheric Physics, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Mainz, Germany
  • 6Department of Land, Air, and Water Resources, University of California, Davis, CA95616, USA
  • 7CMA Meteorological Observation Centre, Beijing, 100081, China
  • 8Geology and Geophysics Department, College of Science, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
  • 9Energy, Environment and Water Research Center, Cyprus Institute, 1645 Nicosia, Cyprus

Abstract. Enhanced aerosol abundance in the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere (UTLS) associated with the Asian summer monsoon (ASM), is referred to as the Asian Tropopause Aerosol Layer (ATAL). The chemical composition, microphysical properties and climate effects of aerosols in the ATAL have been the subject of discussion over the past decade. In this work, we use the ECHAM/MESSy Atmospheric Chemistry (EMAC) general circulation model at a relatively fine grid resolution (about 1.1 × 1.1 degrees) to numerically simulate the emissions and chemistry of aerosols and their precursors in the UTLS within the ASM anticyclone during the years 2010–2012. We find a pronounced maximum in aerosol extinction in the UTLS over the Tibetan Plateau, which to a large extent is caused by mineral dust emitted from the northern Tibetan Plateau and slope areas, lofted to an altitude of at least 10 km, and accumulating within the anticyclonic circulation. Our simulations show that mineral dust, water soluble compounds, such as nitrate and sulfate, and associated liquid water dominate aerosol extinction in the UTLS within the ASM anticyclone. Due to shielding of high background sulfate concentrations outside the anticyclone from volcanoes, a relative minimum of aerosol extinction within the anticyclone in the lower stratosphere is simulated, being most pronounced in 2011 when the Nabro eruption occurred. In contrast to mineral dust and nitrate concentrations, sulfate increases with increasing altitude due to the larger volcano effects in the lower stratosphere compared to the upper troposphere. Our study indicates that the UTLS over the Tibetan Plateau can act as a well-defined conduit for natural and anthropogenic gases and aerosols into the stratosphere.

Jianzhong Ma et al.
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Short summary
We find a pronounced maximum in aerosol extinction in the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere over the Tibetan Plateau during the Asian summer monsoon, caused mainly by mineral dust emitted from the northern Tibetan Plateau and slope area, lofted to and accumulating within the anticyclonic circulation. Mineral dust, water soluble compounds, such as nitrate and sulfate, and associated liquid water dominate aerosol extinction around the tropopause within the Asian summer monsoon anticyclone.
We find a pronounced maximum in aerosol extinction in the upper troposphere and lower...
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