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Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2019-484
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2019-484
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 18 Jun 2019

Submitted as: research article | 18 Jun 2019

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

Dust Constraints from joint Observational-Modelling-experiMental analysis (DustCOMM): Comparison with measurements and model simulations

Adeyemi A. Adebiyi1, Jasper F. Kok1, Yang Wang1, Akinori Ito2, David A. Ridley3, Pierre Nabat4, and Chun Zhao5 Adeyemi A. Adebiyi et al.
  • 1Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, University of California Los Angeles, CA, USA
  • 2Yokohama Institute for Earth Sciences, JAMSTEC, Yokohama, Kanagawa, 236-0001, Japan
  • 3Monitoring & Laboratory Division, California Air Resources Board, Sacramento, CA, USA
  • 4Centre National de Recherches Météorologiques, Université de Toulouse, Météo-France, CNRS, Toulouse, France
  • 5School of Earth and Space Sciences, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, Anhui 230026, China

Abstract. Mineral dust is the most abundant aerosol specie by mass in the atmosphere, and it impacts global climate, biogeochemistry, and human health. Understanding these varied impacts on the Earth system requires accurate knowledge of dust abundance, size, and optical properties, and how they vary in space and time. However, current global models show substantial biases against measurements of these dust properties. For instance, recent studies suggest that atmospheric dust is substantially coarser and more aspherical than accounted for in models, leading to persistent biases in modelled impacts of dust on the Earth system. Here, we facilitate more accurate constraints on dust impacts by developing a new dataset: Dust Constraints from joint Observational-Modelling-experiMental analysis (DustCOMM). This dataset leverages observational and experimental constraints on dust size distribution and shape to obtain more accurate constraints on three-dimensional (3-D) atmospheric dust properties than is possible from global model simulations alone. Specifically, we present annual and seasonal climatologies of the 3-D dust size distribution, 3-D dust mass extinction efficiency at 550 nm, and two-dimensional atmospheric dust loading. Comparisons with independent measurements taken over several locations, heights, and seasons show that DustCOMM estimates consistently outperform conventional global model simulations. In particular, DustCOMM achieves a substantial reduction in the bias relative to measured dust size distributions in the 0.5–20 µm diameter range. Furthermore, DustCOMM reproduces measurements of dust mass extinction efficiency to almost within the experimental uncertainties, whereas global models generally overestimate the mass extinction efficiency. DustCOMM thus provides more accurate constraints on 3-D dust properties, and as such can be used to improve global models or serve as an alternative to global model simulations in constraining dust impacts on the Earth system.

Adeyemi A. Adebiyi et al.
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Status: final response (author comments only)
Status: final response (author comments only)
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
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Adeyemi A. Adebiyi et al.
Data sets

Dust Constraints from joint Observational-Modelling-experiMental analysis – DustCOMM Version 1 A. A. Adebiyi, J. F. Kok, Y. Wang, A. Ito, D. A. Ridley, P. Nabat, and C. Zhao https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.2620475

DustCOMM_v1 Input Dataset A. A. Adebiyi, J. F. Kok, Y. Wang, A. Ito, D. A. Ridley, P. Nabat, and C. Zhao https://doi.org/10.5281/ZENODO.2620547

Model code and software

DustCOMM A. Adebiyi https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.2620556

Adeyemi A. Adebiyi et al.
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Short summary
Although atmospheric dust particles produce significant impacts on the Earth system, most climate models still have difficulty representing the basic processes that affect these particles. In this study, we present new constraints on dust properties that consistently outperform the conventional climate models, when compared to independent measurements. As a result, our constraints can be used to improve climate models or serve as an alternative in constraining dust impacts on the Earth system.
Although atmospheric dust particles produce significant impacts on the Earth system, most...
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