Net radiative effects of dust in the tropical North Atlantic based on integrated satellite observations and in situ measurements Academic Article uri icon


  • Abstract. In this study, we integrate recent in situ measurements with satellite retrievals of dust physical and radiative properties to quantify dust direct radiative effects on shortwave (SW) and longwave (LW) radiation (denoted as DRESW and DRELW, respectively) in the tropical North Atlantic during the summer months from 2007 to 2010. Through linear regression of the CERES-measured top-of-atmosphere (TOA) flux versus satellite aerosol optical depth (AOD) retrievals, we estimate the instantaneous DRESW efficiency at the TOA to be -49.77.1Wm2AOD1 and -36.54.8Wm2AOD1 based on AOD from MODIS and CALIOP, respectively. We then perform various sensitivity studies based on recent measurements of dust particle size distribution (PSD), refractive index, and particle shape distribution to determine how the dust microphysical and optical properties affect DRE estimates and its agreement with the above-mentioned satellite-derived DREs. Our analysis shows that a good agreement with the observation-based estimates of instantaneous DRESW and DRELW can be achieved through a combination of recently observed PSD with substantial presence of coarse particles, a less absorptive SW refractive index, and spheroid shapes. Based on this optimal combination of dust physical properties we further estimate the diurnal mean dust DRESW in the region of 10Wm2 at TOA and 26Wm2 at the surface, respectively, of which 30% is canceled out by the positive DRELW. This yields a net DRE of about 6.9 and 18.3Wm2 at TOA and the surface, respectively. Our study suggests that the LW flux contains useful information on dust particle size, which could be used together with SW observations to achieve a more holistic understanding of the dust radiative effect.

published proceedings


altmetric score

  • 3.1

author list (cited authors)

  • Song, Q., Zhang, Z., Yu, H., Kato, S., Yang, P., Colarco, P., Remer, L. A., & Ryder, C. L.

citation count

  • 32

complete list of authors

  • Song, Qianqian||Zhang, Zhibo||Yu, Hongbin||Kato, Seiji||Yang, Ping||Colarco, Peter||Remer, Lorraine A||Ryder, Claire L

publication date

  • August 2018