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Dust Source, Vertical Profile and Climate Impact by RegCM3 Regional Climate Model over West Africa during 2006

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Document pages: 14 pages

Abstract: This study aims to evaluate dust impact on climate parameters over the Sahel region by RegCM3 regional model during 2006. Indeed, aerosols are one of the main uncertainties in climate models. The aerosol optical depth (AOD) derived from RegCM3 model has been validated with various observed datasets. The aerosol sources are identified over North Algeria and East of Sahel (Bodele depression). Discrepancies are noted when considering dust temporal and spatial distribution. Dust season extends between March and October, with two peaks of AOD recorded in March (spring) and June (summer). The dust vertical distribution showed that the mineral aerosol layer is located between 850 hPa and 300 hPa (1.5 km to 7 km). The RegCM3 model simulates fairly well the transport in the upper layers, especially in the Saharan Air Layer (SAL) during the summer. However, RegCM3 simulates poorly the transport and sedimentation of particles in the lower layers (below 2 km). The investigation of dust radiative impact shows a general cooling. The maximum of radiative forcing is located around 18°N - 20°N, with values of about -80 W m2 in June - August (JJA) and -40 W m2 at the surface during March - May (MAM). This study also showed the indirect effect of dust with a decrease in precipitation about -0.7 mm day around 15 - 20°N during the rainy season.

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