Saharan dust aerosols change deep convective cloud prevalence, possibly by inhibiting marine new particle formation
Deep convective clouds (DCCs) are important to global climate, atmospheric chemistry, and precipitation. A new study develops a statistical technique in which satellite data and reanalysis products are used to separate aerosol effects on clouds from meteorological co-variability. It shows that once meteorological co-variability is taken into account, aerosols (especially marine-generated aerosols associated with dimethyl sulfide), substantially increase North Atlantic DCC prevalence. However, dust aerosols may scrub the atmosphere of the ocean-emitted precursors to cloud active aerosol particles, thus dampening marine aerosol effects.
Reference: Zamora, L. M. and R. A. Kahn (2020). Saharan dust aerosols change deep convective cloud prevalence, possibly by inhibiting marine new particle formation. Journal of Climate, 33 (21): 9467-9480. https://doi.org/10.1175/JCLI-D-20-0083.1
Read and download the publication here: https://journals.ametsoc.org/jcli/article-abstract/33/21/9467/353952/Saharan-Dust-Aerosols-Change-Deep-Convective-Cloud?redirectedFrom=fulltext