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Is the Atlantic Ocean driving the recent variability in South Asian dust?

Banerjee, P and Satheesh, SK and Krishna Moorthy, K (2021) Is the Atlantic Ocean driving the recent variability in South Asian dust? In: Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 21 (23). pp. 17665-17685.

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-21-17665-2021


This study investigates the large-scale factors controlling interannual variability in dust aerosols over South Asia during 2001-2018. We use a parameter DA, which refers to the frequency of days in a year when high dust activity is experienced over a region, as determined by a combination of satellite aerosol optical depth and the à ngström exponent. While a positive sea surface temperature (SST) anomaly in the central Pacific Ocean was important in controlling DA over South Asia during 2001-2010; in recent years, the North Atlantic Ocean has assumed a dominant role. Specifically, high DA is associated with warming in the midlatitude and cooling in the subtropical North Atlantic SSTs: The location of the two southern arms of the North Atlantic SST tripole pattern. This shift towards a dominant role of the North Atlantic SST in controlling DA over South Asia coincides with a recent shift towards a persistently positive phase of the North Atlantic oscillation (NAO) and a resultant positive phase of the springtime SST tripole pattern. Interestingly, there has also been a shift in the relation between the two southern arms of the SST tripole and NAO, which has resulted in weakening of the southwest monsoon circulation over the northern Indian Ocean and strengthening of the dust-carrying westerlies and northerlies in the lower troposphere and mid-troposphere. Simulations with an Earth system model show that the positive phase of the North Atlantic SST tripole pattern is responsible for a 10 increase in the dust optical depth over South Asia during May-September; with increases as high as 30 during the month of June. This increase is mainly due to transport by the westerlies at the 800 hPa pressure level, which increases the dust concentration at this pressure level by 20 on average during May-September and up to 50 during June. © 2021 Priyanka Banerjee et al.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publication: Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics
Publisher: Copernicus GmbH
Additional Information: The copyright for this article belongs to the Author.
Department/Centre: Division of Mechanical Sciences > Divecha Centre for Climate Change
Division of Mechanical Sciences > Centre for Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences
Date Deposited: 06 Jan 2022 11:36
Last Modified: 06 Jan 2022 11:36
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/70811

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