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Satellite-based assessment of possible dust aerosols semi-direct effect on...

Huang, J., B. Lin, P. Minnis, T. Wang, X. Wang, Y. Hu, Y. Yi, and K. Ayers (2006), Satellite-based assessment of possible dust aerosols semi-direct effect on cloud water path over East Asia, Geophys. Res. Lett., 33, L19802, doi:10.1029/2006GL026561.
Abstract: 

The semi-direct effects of dust aerosols are analyzed over eastern Asia using 2 years (June 2002 to June 2004) of data from the Clouds and the Earth’s Radiant Energy System (CERES) scanning radiometer and MODerate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on the Aqua satellite, and 18 years (1984 to 2001) of International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project (ISCCP) data. The results show that the water path of dust-contaminated clouds is considerably smaller than that of dust-free clouds. The mean ice water path (IWP) and liquid water path (LWP) of dusty clouds are less than their dust-free counterparts by 23.7% and 49.8%, respectively. The long-term statistical relationship derived from ISCCP also confirms that there is significant negative correlation between dust storm index and ISCCP cloud water path (CWP). These results suggest that dust aerosols warm clouds, increase the evaporation of cloud droplets and further reduce the CWP, the so-called semi-direct effect. The semi-direct effect may play a role in cloud development over arid and semi-arid areas of East Asia and contribute to the reduction of precipitation.

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Research Program: 
Radiation Science Program (RSP)
Mission: 
CERES