New Research Paper “Modelling The Chemically Aged And Mixed Aerosols Over The Atlantic Ocean” By Astitha Et Al 2010

In our paper

Pielke Sr., R., K. Beven, G. Brasseur, J. Calvert, M. Chahine, R. Dickerson, D. Entekhabi, E. Foufoula-Georgiou, H. Gupta, V. Gupta, W. Krajewski, E. Philip Krider, W. K.M. Lau, J. McDonnell,  W. Rossow,  J. Schaake, J. Smith, S. Sorooshian,  and E. Wood, 2009: Climate change: The need to consider human forcings besides greenhouse gases. Eos, Vol. 90, No. 45, 10 November 2009, 413. Copyright (2009) American Geophysical Union

we wrote (bold face added)

“In addition to greenhouse gas emissions, other first order human climate forcings are important to understanding the future behavior of Earth’s climate. These forcings are spatially heterogeneous and include the effect of aerosols on clouds and associated precipitation [e.g., Rosenfeld et al., 2008], the influence of aerosol deposition (e.g., black carbon (soot) [Flanner et al. 2007] and reactive nitrogen [Galloway et al., 2004]), and the role of changes in land use/land cover [e.g., Takata et al., 2009]. Among their effects is their role in altering atmospheric and ocean circulation features away from what they would be in the natural climate system [NRC, 2005].”

There is a very important new paper that provides further quantitative documentation of the role of aerosols (including human caused aerosols) within the climate system. It is

M. Astitha, G. Kallos, C. Spyrou, W. O’Hirok, J. Lelieveld, and H. A. C. Denier van der Gon, 2010: Modelling the chemically aged and mixed aerosols over the Atlantic Ocean. Atmos. Chem. Phys., 10, 1–26, 2010. www.atmos-chem-phys.net/10/1/2010/

The abstract reads [bold face added]

“Detailed information on the chemical and physical properties of aerosols is important for assessing their role in air quality and climate. This work explores the origin and fate of continental aerosols transported over the Central Atlantic Ocean, in terms of chemical composition, number and size distribution, using chemistry-transport models, satellite data and in situ measurements. We focus on August 2005, a period with intense hurricane and tropical storm activity over the Atlantic Ocean. A mixture of anthropogenic (sulphates, nitrates), natural (desert dust, sea salt) and chemically aged (sulphate and nitrate on dust) aerosols is found entering the hurricane genesis region, most likely interacting with clouds in the area. Results from our modelling study suggest rather small amounts of accumulation mode desert dust, sea salt and chemically aged dust aerosols in this Atlantic Ocean region. Aerosols of smaller size (Aitken mode) are more abundant in the area and in some occasions sulphates of anthropogenic origin and desert dust are of the same magnitude in terms of number concentrations. Typical aerosol number concentrations are derived for the vertical layers near shallow cloud formation regimes, indicating that the aerosol number concentration can reach several thousand particles per cubic centimetre. The vertical distribution of the aerosols shows that the desert dust particles are often transported near the top of the marine cloud layer as they enter into the region where deep convection is initiated. The anthropogenic sulphate aerosol can be transported within a thick layer and enter the cloud deck through multiple ways (from the top, the base of the cloud, and by entrainment). The sodium (sea salt related) aerosol is mostly found below the cloud base. The results of this work may provide insights relevant for studies that consider aerosol influences on cloud processes and storm development in the Central Atlantic region.”

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