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Size-resolved dust direct radiative effect efficiency derived from satellite...

Song, Q., Z. Zhang, H. Yu, J. F. Kok, C. Di Biagio, S. Albani, J. Zheng, and J. Ding (2023), Size-resolved dust direct radiative effect efficiency derived from satellite observations, Atmos. Chem. Phys., doi:10.5194/acp-22-13115-2022.

The role of mineral dust aerosol in the global radiative energy budget is often quantified by the dust direct radiative effect (DRE). The dust DRE strongly depends on dust aerosol optical depth (DAOD), therefore, DRE efficiency (DREE = DRE / DAOD) is widely compared across different studies to eliminate differences due to the various dust loads. Nevertheless, DREE is still influenced by the uncertainties associated with dust particle size distribution (PSD) and optical properties. In this study, we derive a global clear-sky size-resolved DREE dataset in both shortwave (SW) and longwave (LW) at top of the atmosphere (TOA) and surface based on satellite observations (i.e., satellite-retrieved dust extinction spatial and vertical distributions). In the DREE dataset, dust geometric diameter from 0.1 to 100 µm is divided into 10 bins and the corresponding monthly mean DREE (with respect to DAOD at 532 nm) for each size bin is derived by using the Rapid Radiative Transfer Model (RRTM). Three sets of state of the art dust refractive indices (RI) and two sets of dust shape models (sphere vs. spheroid) are adopted to investigate the sensitivity of dust DREE to dust absorption and shape. As a result, the size-resolved dust DREE dataset contains globally distributed monthly mean dust DREE at TOA and surface for each of 10 size bins with 5◦ (longitude) ×2◦ (latitude) resolution as well as for each dust RI and shape combination. The size-resolved dust DREE dataset can be used to readily calculate global dust DRE for any DAOD and dust PSD, including the uncertainty in the DRE induced by dust microphysical properties, (e.g., dust PSD, RI and shape). By calculating dust DRE based on DAOD climatology retrieved from different satellite sensors and based on different dust PSD, we find that uncertainty in the spatial pattern of DAOD induces more than 10 % of the uncertainty in SW dust DRE at TOA. The observation-based dust PSD induces around 15–20 % uncertainty in dust DRE at TOA and in the atmosphere. The sensitivity assessments of dust DRE to dust RI and shape further suggest that dust nonsphericity induces a negligible effect on dust DRE estimations, while dust RI turns out to be the most important factor in determining dust DRE, particularly in SW.

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Research Program: 
Radiation Science Program (RSP)
Funding Sources: 
The Science of Terra, Aqua, and SNPP