There are many uncertainties in the quantitative assessment of radiative effects due to atmospheric dust aerosol and the optical properties of dust particles contribute large to them. Numerical sensitivity experiments to evaluate the impacts of optical characteristics on the radiative forcing have been performed in this study. The experiments involve the effects of refractive indices, single scattering albedo, asymmetry factor and optical depth of the dust particles. An updated data set of refractive indices representing East Asian dust and the data set recommended by World Meteorology Organization (WMO) are used in our calculations for comparison. A k-distribution model for solar and thermal radiation transfer is employed in the calculation of radiative forcing. It is found that comparing with the WMO model, East Asian dust model has stronger scattering and weaker absorption at solar regime, which leads to higher negative forcing at the top of atmosphere (TOA) in this study. The more important is the signs of radiative forcing at TOA over certain regions could be reversed for the two dust models, which emphasizes the essentiality of accurate measurements of optical properties of dust aerosols for quantitatively estimating their radiative forcing.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atmospheric Science