Dust, sulfates, and global climate modeling

Natalie Mahowald, Keith Lindsay, Daniel Rothenberg, Scott Doney, Keith Moore, Peter Thornton, James Randerson, and Chris Jones, Desert dust and anthropogenic aerosol interactions in the Community Climate System Model coupled-carbon-climate model, Biogeosciences, doi:10.5194/bg-8-387-2011

Anthropogenic and natural aerosols (solids or liquids suspended in the atmosphere) have not yet been fully incorporated into global models that simulate the interaction of carbon and climate. This study is the first such simulation to examine the effects on global climate produced by sulfate and volcanic aerosols, black and organic aerosols from combustion, and dust that is generated by deserts as the simulation unfolds. The results suggest that the impact of aerosols on the climate/carbon cycle may be largely explained by the globally averaged cooling from aerosols. Other globally significant changes in carbon are likely driven by changes in radiation or regional climate.

CORNELL UNIVERSITY • NCAR • WOODS HOLE OCEANOGRAPHIC INSTITUTION • UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, IRVINE • OAK RIDGE NATIONAL LABORATORY • UK MET OFFICE