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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2019-905
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2019-905
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 14 Oct 2019

Submitted as: research article | 14 Oct 2019

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

Impact of topography on black carbon transport to the southern Tibetan Plateau during pre-monsoon season and its climatic implication

Meixin Zhang1, Chun Zhao1, Zhiyuan Cong2,3, Qiuyan Du1, Mingyue Xu1, Yu Chen1, Ming Chen4, Rui Li1, Yunfei Fu1, Lei Zhong1, Shichang Kang3,5, Delong Zhao6, and Yan Yang6 Meixin Zhang et al.
  • 1School of Earth and Space Sciences, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, China
  • 2Key Laboratory of Tibetan Environment Changes and Land Surface Processes, Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), Beijing 100101, China
  • 3CAS Center for Excellence in Tibetan Plateau Earth Sciences, Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
  • 4NationalCenterforAtmosphericResearch,Boulder,CO,USA
  • 5State Key Laboratory of Cryosphere Science, Northwest Institute of Eco-Environment and Resources, CAS, Lanzhou 730000, China
  • 6Beijing Weather Modification Office, Beijing 100101, China

Abstract. Most of previous modeling studies about black carbon (BC) transport and impact over the Tibetan Plateau conducted simulations with horizontal resolutions coarser than 10 km that may not be able to resolve well the complex topography of the Himalayas. In this study, the experiments with WRF-Chem at two horizontal resolutions (20 km and 4 km) are conducted for pre-monsoon season (April, 2016) to investigate the impacts of topography on modeling the transport and distribution of BC over the TP. The simulations at both resolutions show evident accumulation of aerosols near the southern Himalayas during the pre-monsoon season, consistent with the satellite retrievals. The observed episode of high surface BC concentrations at the station near the Mt. Everest due to heavy biomass burning near the TP is well captured by the simulations. The simulations at both resolutions indicate that the prevailing up-flow across the Himalayas driven by the large-scale circulation during the daytime is the dominant transport mechanism of South Asian BC into the TP, and is much stronger than that during the nighttime. The valley wind can strengthen the prevailing up-flow transport. The simulations at coarse resolution (20 km) and fine resolution (4 km) show large differences in representing the distributions of topography of the Himalayas. The simulation at 4 km resolution resolves more valleys and thus produces much stronger transport fluxes, which indicates that although the transport of South Asian BC across the Himalayas can overcome the mountain ridges, the valley transport is more efficient and cannot be ignored. This results in 50 % higher transport flux of BC across the Himalayas and 30–40 % stronger BC radiative heating in the atmosphere over the TP from the simulation at 4 km than that at 20 km resolution. The different topography also leads to different distributions of snow cover and BC forcing in snow. This study implies that global climate models generally with even coarser resolutions than 20 km may introduce significant negative biases in estimating light absorbing aerosol radiative forcing over the TP.

Meixin Zhang et al.
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Short summary
The simulations at both resolutions indicate that the prevailing up-flow across the Himalayas driven by the large-scale circulation during the daytime is the dominant transport mechanism of South Asian BC into the TP, and is much stronger than that during the nighttime.The valley wind can strengthen the prevailing up-flow transport.This results in 50 % higher transport flux of BC across the Himalayas and 30 40 % stronger BC radiative heating in the atmosphere over the TP.
The simulations at both resolutions indicate that the prevailing up-flow across the Himalayas...
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